Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015


Date: Mon, Dec 21, 2015 at 3:33 PM


Hello All!!

Merry Christmas!! I hope y'all have wonderful plans up your sleeve for
this week. :) That in the midst of the hustle of the world you find
time and get to make time for those people who matter. To set aside
the devices. To be with others. To love them. To give them one of your
greatest gifts which is your time.

This past week we were able to make tamales with a recent convert and
her husband. It was SO fun! We also made Christmas cookies with a
family who may want to hear the gospel! We were also able to see many
good people. Get to know the members in our wards better and have some
wonderful service opportunities out in the community which brought
lots of peace to my heart. We laughed with, worked alongside with and
helped bring some light to many in the area. This area is a little
part of heaven. The spirit of the people here are what helps. Because
if you look past what the usual stumbling blocks are, you see people
who want to love and be loved. Who want to share joy and feel joy. Who
really just want to help others come closer to Christ. And what better
week to do that than Christmas?

I'm so grateful to still have time to serve the Lord. To be able to
serve and serve with such leaders who help me see what Christlike
leadership is all about. I am grateful for the example of my Mission
President this past week. The wife of the couple that we lived with
passed away and as soon as he found out; he called wanting to know
what the mission could do. He ended up joining Sister Jones and I at
the services Saturday morning. For a woman he met only once. But
countless times I have seen him try his best to follow the example of
our Savior and minister. He's a pretty cool guy and I am grateful to
know him and his wife.

This week finds us with lots to do. We will be attending various
things with members and less active members. We will be moving. We
have service and a great opportunity Friday to talk with loved ones.
:)

I truly love you all. And frequently miss our connections. But still I
am needed here :)

Merry Christmas! May the Spirit of Christ come in to your home and
heart this week and change you for the better.

lovefromAZ
Sister Walter

Monday, December 14, 2015

Almost Christmas, moving again


Date: Mon, Dec 14, 2015 at 4:21 PM


Hey Hey!

It's super cold here. And it's almost Christmas. And well...that makes
me think a lil of home honestly. Especially since it has snowed some
and it has hailed. Sounds a lot like anywhere I have lived but
Arizona!

So to the things. This weeks has been pretty interesting. We had a
some really good visits with the Barneys. I really love those kids and
super can tell how much their dad teaches them by how much they know!
Also it's so cute because they always talk about missing Sister Moon.
She was their favorite Sister...:) Zone Meeting this past week was
really something. We had the opportunity to teach about the Christmas
video which was new. But learning how to teach the role of the Savior
use scriptures was powerful. Sister Passey shared some counsel with us
that if we cannot teach a principle with a scripture we shouldn't
teach it. That made me think a lot. How can I improve my teaching and
prepare better? Anyway. :)

We had some neat opportunities to be out in the community sharing the
Christmas video this past week. It was really something to get to meet
so many good people who live in Benson and Pomerene.

Also, we had some things happen where we are living. The wife of the
members we have been living with passed away this past week. She had
been sick for some time. But this was a bit sooner than we all
thought. The husband is doing the best he can. His kids are starting
to come into town. And one son is moving in. I am so grateful he will
have family close by. He is just so good. With this, Sister Jones and
I get to move. Just another day in missionary life.

Happiness: Christmas is next week. :) Which means more sharing of the
message of the Savior. Such eternal joy comes from this. I love you
all!

lovefromAZ
Sister Walter

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas is in the air!


Dec 7 (3 days ago)

Hey Everyone! 

How are you doing this week?! I hope you had a wonderful week and that you are enjoying the beginning of what will be a wonderful Christmas season! Can you feel it in the air? I know I can! 

I loved the Christmas devotional last night when they talked about hearts softening and the light in the darkness. That is such a true and good thing. I absolutely love that when you go out there s more service. There is more sacrifice. There is usually more good. And when we go out in the usually really dark Arizona night, there are soft lights now. Showing us that the Savior is that light shining in the Darkness. 

Have you had an opportunity to see the new church video yet? Check out christmas.mormon.org :) Watch the video. Feel the love that the Lord has for YOU! And then explore the website. See what the world would be like without a Savior. Can you imagine it? I know I can't. Can you imagine not being able to take anything back? Or this just being it? Heartache never going away? Us drifting farther from God...that is just a dark place. But we can come closer to Him. There is hope and this is the time for a softening to come. 

I promise that the Spirit will touch your heart and will help you. If only because I have experienced the reality of that so many times when I have felt so very far away. 

I LOVE you all. This is the Lord's work. Go share the miracle of the season. :)

lovefromAZ
Sister Walter

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Date: Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 2:14 PM

Hiya Family and Friends,

This past week was pretty great! For it being a holiday week, it had to have been one of the best. Sister Jones and I hit the ground...at a slow jog. :) Jk We have just been working, trying to set appointments and meeting good people. 

We had a really cool experience at church yesterday! A girl brought her friend to church and she wants to learn more! She already has read the Book of Mormon and watched the Restoration. She just thinks its interesting and could be a good things. It is amazing the power of an invitation when we invited our friends to do things and then they choose to because they see the impact in our lives. This girl is so cool. We are pretty excited about her. :) 

As for Thanksgiving, it was pretty cool! We got to spend the day giving thank you cards to people. As well as spending time with some of the Sisters that Sister Jones and I get to support this transfer. I don't know people, I feel like this will be a good transfer. There will be some good things. :) 

I super love this area. I love the gospel so much. I am so grateful for the chance that I get to be here and it is worth every sleepless night and all the things because it is for the Lord. 

lovefromAZ

Sister Walter

Sis Passey, Andrew and Matt

Date: Mon, Nov 16, 2015 at 2:44 PM


Hi Friends and Family,

Lots of thoughts. Lots of good things this past week. Lots and lots of love for each one of you. I do love you so very much. So as much as I want to tell you about everything this past week I want to focus on three conversations I had. One with my Mission President's wife, one with Andrew and another with a man named Matt. 

This conversation with Sister Passey went through many subjects over the course of a short period of time. But she was training me on Sister Training Leader duties. And we found ourselves talking about being happy, having charity, getting along and having joy. How those are the greatest desires I have in serving the Sisters I working with. Then I mentioned it being a pipe dream in some cases. But she offered a perspective that struck me that if we are all obedient we'd get along. Usually hearing the O word, I would cringe but over the past two-3 months I have began to desire that more in my life. And I have seen how people I didn't get along with, I love now. There was profound truth and we then talked about the change of heart that comes when we understand why we are obedient and all of those good things. Still a great work in progress but a good thought. 

Andrew is someone we met that night. He is not a member and has some bitter feelings towards God. As we talked to him and began to understand how he got to this place we were better able to love him. Share Heavenly Father's love for him. And be quite blunt and honest with him about the truths of certain things. There is just power in getting to know someone, really, personally. And then having the courage to ask the hard questions. 

Matt and I talked about grief. And the loss of ideas, dreams, people, times, places, memories and a way of life. Just grief. And the biggest impact from that conversation, through the tears, was coming to understand that the greater the capacity we have for love and have loved, the bigger our grief seems to be. But we have to continue loving to get out of grief safely or we may become changed through the experience. With this conversation I was reminded of Moroni 7 when we are counseled to pray with all the energy of hear to be filled with this love. I would add, even when it hurts. Because then the Spirit will be there to guide you through it.

I love you all.

lovefromAZ
Sister Walter

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Transfers

Nov 23 (1 day ago)
November 23
Hi Loved Ones!

Happy Birthday Will! Happy belated Birthday Jordan!

I made it to three years this past Thursday and it felt so good. :)
Can't beLieve that milestone was hit. But in a way I totally can! God
is a God of miracles and this is just one of SO many that He is able
to do as I sought to be closer to Him through the atonement of Jesus
Christ and then apply it. Miracles. Faith. All good.

So the goods...transfers are tomorrow and Sister Harrington is leaving
to spend her last transfer in North Tucson. I am staying at least one
more transfer here in Pomerene and St. David. Sister Jones is coming
to serve with me here. I've heard great things about her so I am
looking forward to it. I don't know if y'all remember me writing home
about Sister Stebar. She is the Sister I just finished training 6
weeks ago. She is going to the Casas Adobes Ward in Central Tucson.
Leaving the countryside for the big city. :)

This past week was good! We saw some miracles. We met with a new
person on Tuesday who wants to learn more about the gospel. Which was
pretty exciting for us! We also went out this really long road, saw a
ghost town/western movie set and massive saguaros. Best part...the
family at the end of the drive. Saturday morning we got to help put up
this massive, life size nativity with one of the best families ever.
:) Really! Super helps that I adore playing with the kids. But this
family makes up half the town so so many people were there. It was
glorious! We were told it is such a great missionary opportunity to
bring people to it and walk them through and experience the scene and
reverence of Christ's birth. So excited for Christmas! Oh! And I
learned how to build a wall!!! Which is perfect since I decided a few
weeks ago that o want to design and build my own home...or one with
someone else. Haha. But really! From laying the frame, nail gun use,
putting boards on...it was magical! The only bummer was leaving before
he taught us to weld. But next time! So much I want to learn to do! We
just had a normal missionary week had some highs and did have some
lows. So grateful for the chance to choose to be grateful.

Speaking of gratitude. I would like to take a chance to let y'all know
that gratitude that grows in my heart for each of you comes from the
knowledge that we will see each other again. That our Heavenly Father
placed us in each other's path for a very specific purpose. That His
plan is divine and we get to choose to trust His knowledge. That so
much peace and happiness can be found in the simplicity of the gospel
of Jesus Christ. I love each and every one of you so profoundly. I
wish I could comprehend it sometimes. :) I know though that because of
that love, I will always be here. I will always be cheering you on and
waiting to give you the big hug. Letting you know you did a good, very
hard thing. :)

lovefromAZ

Sister Walter

Obedience


Date: Mon, Nov 16, 2015 at 2:44 PM


Hi Friends and Family,

Lots of thoughts. Lots of good things this past week. Lots and lots of love for each one of you. I do love you so very much. So as much as I want to tell you about everything this past week I want to focus on three conversations I had. One with my Mission President's wife, one with Andrew and another with a man named Matt. 

This conversation with Sister Passey went through many subjects over the course of a short period of time. But she was training me on Sister Training Leader duties. And we found ourselves talking about being happy, having charity, getting along and having joy. How those are the greatest desires I have in serving the Sisters I working with. Then I mentioned it being a pipe dream in some cases. But she offered a perspective that struck me that if we are all obedient we'd get along. Usually hearing the O word, I would cringe but over the past two-3 months I have began to desire that more in my life. And I have seen how people I didn't get along with, I love now. There was profound truth and we then talked about the change of heart that comes when we understand why we are obedient and all of those good things. Still a great work in progress but a good thought. 

Andrew is someone we met that night. He is not a member and has some bitter feelings towards God. As we talked to him and began to understand how he got to this place we were better able to love him. Share Heavenly Father's love for him. And be quite blunt and honest with him about the truths of certain things. There is just power in getting to know someone, really, personally. And then having the courage to ask the hard questions. 

Matt and I talked about grief. And the loss of ideas, dreams, people, times, places, memories and a way of life. Just grief. And the biggest impact from that conversation, through the tears, was coming to understand that the greater the capacity we have for love and have loved, the bigger our grief seems to be. But we have to continue loving to get out of grief safely or we may become changed through the experience. With this conversation I was reminded of Moroni 7 when we are counseled to pray with all the energy of hear to be filled with this love. I would add, even when it hurts. Because then the Spirit will be there to guide you through it.

I love you all.

lovefromAZ
Sister Walter

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Horses, Llamas, pigs and donkeys

Date: Mon, Nov 2, 2015 at 5:26 PM
Subject: Letter 11/2/2015



People I love!

How are you? Really, I ask and do want to know. I hope you all have
had such a wonderful week! We have had some great moments this week.
Yep there have been some hard times and I think if we are honest, all
missions and lives have goods and bad. Adjusting and not so much.

Had the opportunity to feel my heart grow in love this past week for
some people in our area as well as fellow missionaries. We also got to
see three tarantulas, a lizard, weed another yard. Feed horses,
llamas, pigs and donkeys. Love this place called Texas canyon. It's so
beautiful. Also we are gonna get to have zone conference this week
which I am stoked about! And that two baptisms are coming up for
people I taught or worked with in some way. Good chance to feel the
Savior.

Well. Here are some pictures! I hope y'all have a fantastic week. Know
I love y'all. I am so grateful for this gospel and the opportunity to
share my testimony with others every day. I am grateful for the wards
I get to serve and the Bishops who share such a great example and
desire of bringing everyone in. I love all these people I have met
here in Southern Arizona. So grateful enough for this chance to serve
them. Here's to serving hard and trying to make every day count.

lovefromAZ,
Sister Walter

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Yvonne baptized

Nov 9 (2 days ago)
to me
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Katherine Walter <katherine.walter@myldsmail.net>
Date: Mon, Nov 9, 2015 at 2:07 PM
Subject: Letter 11/9/2015
To: Iris Walter <haggismacduck@gmail.com>


Hi Friends and Family!

I am so grateful this week to have been able to have served the Lord. Honestly I learned a lot about myself this past week about how selfish I still am and don't really know anything. :) But the Lord is there for that and He definitely gives us experiences to grow and become more. This past week we had the chance to see how the Lord takes us in the right way if we listen to the Spirit. It doesn't make sense...almost ever. And sometimes its hard to do. But the freedom that comes from following the Lord is better than not. 

Trust me, I have a hard time with this. I am in no way perfect. But I try. And the greatest privilege of a mission is to see others try. There is a man named Jim who tries so hard. He was recommended to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood yesterday because of how hard he tries. He is such an inspiration to me. Also my own companion has been an inspiration this past week. She tries and tries and has had some beautiful moments this past week. Where in the end the Spirit taught us both. There is a girl named Ali who is trying and desiring and acting and she is succeeding. She is such an inspiration. And just so many more Bailey, Jasper, Suzy, Alan, Glen...all of them. Choosing to try is the greatest gift. 

So the fun of the week. Got to pet a baby calf and let it suck of my hand! SO CUTE! :) Kinda love the farm things people. It is so great. Also, the teddy bear...softest teddy bear of my life! We were shopping two Mondays ago and I just RAN to it! I had to touch it...and I did. And I stood there and hugged it. And maybe I have gone back the following two weeks...and maybe I will go back again today. Mondays bring the worldly joys which really aren't that many. And it is surprisingly okay. The rest of the week is way better. 

The last picture of the sunflowers. They came from the baptism of a woman name Yvonne. My STL and I found her a little over a year ago and she was baptized in Sierra Vista on Saturday. When she asked my name I said that I knocked on her door a year ago and she just teared up and told me that I started it all. It was really humbling. We saw her maybe twice after that just on the doorstep. She was very busy. But we kept texting and inviting her to things. Through the Spirit and her readiness she got to Saturday. I learned that No Effort is Wasted. Nothing a missionary OR a member ever does is wasted. So please open your mouth and share your testimony. Invited someone to an activity. Just love someone in the way the Savior would and don't give up on them just because you want to. 

Your example, testimony...all of you is a powerful thing. 

lovefromAZ
Sister Walter