Monday, July 29, 2013

WOW. Is all I can say...

Hey this is Courtney writing on behalf of Elder Walton.  He wants me to let you know that he loves hearing from family and friends.  The only thing he asks though, is that if you are emailing him to keep the letters concise.  One paragraph is the limit he asks unless it is something important or spiritual. This is only because he doesn't have much time and he wants to be able to read the emails and write us his weekly letter.  Handwritten letters have no such space limits and I know he loves to receive them. Also just to let everyone know, we love comments on facebook and the blog, but Elder Walton has no interaction with either of them so he won't really ever see them.  That being said if there is something specific you want him to hear I am happy to put it in an email to him just let me know.  And now for his weekly letter:  

So first off sorry if my letter is poorly written... We woke up at 1:30 this morning to catch a bus to the capital... 4 hour bus ride so i could go sign a paper at the office for my visa.. yeah i have been illegal until now.
4 hours?? you are probably all wondering where i am at, huh??
MONJAS! It´s a small pueblo town in the middle of our mission, and it is apart of the Jalapa zona. Before I get writing my letter, two things.

Send all letters to mission office, always:
Elder Nathan Walton
Guate City South Mission
Apartado Postal 340-A
01909 Guatemala City

You can also use, which is an easy way to write me.

Okay... where to start.... my last week in the CCM was, not fun. I got the flu and was sick the whole time, and laid in bed for one day straight, i survived though and now i am working my butt off in good ole Monjas.

About Monjas, if you are wondering what it is like, just imagen the town in Nacho Libre and there ya go. Seriously though, i have never seen so many poor people, and it is quite the experience. Most houses are falling apart, dirt floors, and dirt everywhere... and i love it.
There is one branch in the town, and only 20 active members... there are about 75 members but not active. We have been working hard to reactivate and got 47 people to church yesterday.

My trainer is Elder Soriano from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and his first language isnt spanish... it is Garifuna which is a small dialect on the coast. He learned spanish at age 8, and has a thick accent, so basically he is the hardest person in Monjas to understand... but he is great. A little sketchy at times with the rules and all... but we are working on that.

Monjas is full of Evangelicos, Catolicos, and a lot of apostasy... basically everyone here dislikes the Mormon church, and the Preachers and Pastors lately have been bagging on our Church and beliefs.... it is NOT easy.
That first morning i woke up, I seriously was contemplating going home, and asking myself why i am here. According to all the missionaries i talked to before we left the Change Meeting last Tuesday said the Monjas is the hardest area, but the people are great. I definitely can agree with them on that, i am struggling, but staying positive.
I question why The Lord would inspire Pres Stay to send me here, first area, with no experience... He is putting a lot of trust in me, and so i am putting a lot of trust in Him. If it wasnt for my testimony, and faith, i wouldve packed up.

The language is so hard. The CCM was freaking America, and i am in the real world now. I am the only white person within an hour, and no one can speak or even recognize english. They all speak super fast, and it is really frustrating and i get down on myself... but Hermana Stay called Friday night right at the perfect time, and gave me the support i needed. She said that listening and trying to catch words is the first step to learning the language, and that i am not the only one who feels lost right now. I love my Mission Presidents already so much.

We have a baptizmal date for the end of Agosto on her Birthday. Her name is Keslin and she is 18 and fantastic. The Branch loves her and brought her into the family already.
We are teaching a family and the father and son are members inactives. The grandfather is really interested in the church, ex Jehovahs witness, and came to all 3 hours of church ayer. Hopefully we can committ him to bap this week, they are both great.
Besides that we have just tracted, and taught less actives... we get no referalls, because only 20 are active anyways.

There isnt a chapel here, the church is a house thingy in the city with LA IGLESIA DE JESUCRISTO DE LOS SANTOS DE LOS ULTIMOS DIAS on the outside of it... within the next year is our goal to get enough people to have a real chapel.

I hope this doesnt sound like too much complaining... and i know this isnt the most positive email ever.
I do have a testimony, and dont worry, i am not thinking about coming home at all... just that one, maybe two days.
The church is so true, and I know The Lord will bless me with the strength i need to spread the gospel in Monjas, and get the Branch rollin... i just need to learn Spanish first.

I have photos, but i am too lazy to deal with that today... next week, promise.

I love you all and thank you so much for your letters. I am sorry to those i couldnt write back, and i am going to print them out to read today though.
Read 3 nefi 18: 21-24 please... and remember that prayer is so important.

I will hear from you next week.

Que le vaya bien.

Elder Walton

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

One week more.... SICK

Okay errybody where do i start?
well first this has been the quickest and craziest week so far.. i cant believe im outta here next tuesday. I am so ready and i also am SO scared. i know the Lord will bless me though.
Okay first off... i made two sisters in me distrito cry this week... not my fault though! haha first was i quoted Kenzie when she got here wisdom teeth out and the Asian mowing the lawn thing, and one sister got really offended.. the next was we were all telling each other what animal we think they look like and i told a sister she looks like a snake.. not my best words. I apologized to both of them and i learned my lesson. i also learned that sisters are a lot more emotional than the elders and that it doesnt take much to put them over edge.
I feel like i am growing emotionally spiritually and physically stronger everyday. i also fell the adversary over my shoulder, whispering into my ear every second i get a chance to breathe. but my faith is strong and im pushing on despite the fact this is the hardest thing ever!
Last pday we went out into the city again and hit up Walmart and the food court at the mall. a lot of us, including me, forgot to ask for no ice because it is city water and not pure, and a lot of people were sick this week. including half my distrito, and we were dubbed Distrito enfermo (district sick). We elders had the opportunity to use our priesthood authority and give some blessing and the spirit is so strong, i love it.
Here is my spiritual experience this week.
We do this thing here called (misionero a misionero) and we act as investigators and teach another missionary one on one. The elder i teach everday is Elder Overy and he is playing his older cousin who chose to be excommunicated. It is so great because it is SO REAL. when i feel the spirit during general conference or an amazing talk, i get the goosebumps. it is usually when Elder Holland speaks or something like that, and it doesnt happen often. I was teaching elder overy about the atonement, and he asked (how can i be forgiven of my sisns if i dont feel bad about them?) The Spirit took over and i bore my testimony and testified of the gospel. i gave myself the goosebumps, and i have never done that. it was surreal and the the Holy Ghost is more real than i ever thought. I found these couple scriptures that talk about the spirit with missionaries.
Alma 17:3, D&C 84:85, and D&C 100:5-8.  I honestly cant put into words how strong the spirit was, and how real my experience was.
Yesterday we went street contacting. like real people.... i was a little nervous to do it, but i was confident. i probably shouldnt have been so confident... haha the first guy me and Elder Tingey talked to was hardcore Catolico and vented on us for 5 minutes about how the catholic church is the more true because it has been around the longest. it was a good experience and he was super nice to us, but not interested at all. BTW i didnt understand all he said, im assuming a lot of things. The second guy we talked to at the bus station was a Jehovahs Witness.. need i say more? He kept asking us, (what is the name of God?) uhhhhhhhhhhh we didnt really know what he meant, but after i asked my teacher and he said that the JW was trying to get us to say Jehovah. The last guy we talked to was a member, and showed us his garmets... haha. My spanish is not near as good as i thought it was, but i still am ready for the field. i know that God wont let my inadequecy keep the spirit for touching someone and a quote from Elder Richard Scott (Our Father in Heaven did not put us on this earth to fail.) I wholeheartedly believe that.
If someone could email me and experience about tithing that would be nice, i dont have much to share when i talk about the subject. Also mom and dad you all should read and discuss D&C 88:119 together as a family.
This is my last email for TWO WEEKS... we dont get to email next week because we will be on a bus to our mission field. thank you for all you emails and support throughout the ccm... it hasnt been easy but i have learned so much and grown so much and i am so excited to go and serve the people of Guatemala. Those who emailed me this week probably wont get one back, because i dont have much time, but thank you and i love you all.
I want to bear my testimonio in español because this is my last chance while in the CCM;
Tengo un testimonio de la iglesia de Jesucristo de los santos de los ultimos dias. Yo se que esta iglesia es verdadera con mi toda corazon. yo se que jose smith fue un profeta de Dios, y que por medio jose smith tenemos el libro de mormon, y el sacerdocio de Dios. soy un misionero y representante de Jesucristo y porque de que, tengo el espiritu santo conmingo siempre. testifico que Dios bendice me, ustedes, y todas personas en el mundo. en el nombre de Jesucristo. Amen.
It was really short, and i know a lot more spanish than that. Love you all, and thank you for everything you do. Stay close to the Gospel, and my favorite line lately, (God will send us to heaven if we send Satan straight to hell.)
Love Elder Walton

Monday, July 8, 2013


First of all, i cannot believe that is has been a whole month. i swear it was yesterday when i was walking through the security gate at the SLC airport and asking myself why i wasnt crying...? It is because i was so freaking excited to serve my mission, and i get more and more excited to go out into the field everyday!
The CCM is going by so fast, i can not believe we get a new transfer of missionaries this wednesday, i swear these newbies got here yesterday and now they are 2 weekers.
It is finally the rainy season and a big storm rolls through everyday around 3 pm. The thunder comes before the rain does, and it is surreal. I love the rain so much, maybe not so much when i have to tract in it, but looking out the window while studying español isnt too shabby. The 4th of July here was... different. the chefs made only american meals all day, and my stomach was definitely appreciative!
I cannot wait to get out into the field. Everyday for personal study in the morning i pull up a chair to the window on my floor that overlooks the busy street below. For the hour that i am studying i get to watch people walk back and forth on the sidewalk just doing their own business. The CCM is in my field, so those are MY PEOPLE. MY INVESTIGATORS. I feel the spirit everytime i look down and see a mom walking with a baby craddled in her arms, and no knowledge of the truth in her head. Although i dont know much spanish besides the gospel, i am confident in the Lord that i will be able to comminicate to the people of guatemala and help them be guided by the Spirit.
I am able to teach on almost every subject in Preach my Gospel in español now, and its crazy. Only one month, and the spanish is flowing. Our teacher challenged us to only speak spanish for two days straight, and lets just say DOLOR DE CABEZA aka HEADACHE! but, it helped me a lot with my small talk, and im just so excited for the field in two weeks!
The elders that i have become closest to leave tomorrow, and it is sad... most of them are of to Quetzaltenango which is just north of GC. They are all so chill, and are really nervous. One of my homies is Elder Erik Dalton. He is from slc and did a year up at USU. He is so tight, sexy, and has the voice of angels. all ladies interested (especially Sierra bcuz youre going to USU) look him up on (Erik Dalton)... you wont regret it.
Last night a bunch of Elders talked in a room for an hour about how hard the mission is... it was nice to relate to each other and notice that we are all doing the same thing, and we all have the common enemy of The Adversary. Some elders get down on themselves so much for no reason, and it is nice to end the night with some bromance (joke) and some venting. The spirit was strong and we all are able to help each other with confidence, homesickness, depression, and temptations. I love all the Elders on my floor and i am sad to see some leave tomorrow.
I miss Utah, i never realized how great Utah is until i got here and got locked up in Spiritual Prison for 6 weeks. Kidding. but forreal, Utah is the greatest state in the world, and i would kill to go for a drive up AF canyon and drive past the random dead deer on the side of the road. BUT, i know ill love Guate even more once i get outta prison because it is so beautiful here!
So last night we watched a devotional from Elder Bendar in 2009 and it was absolutely inspiring. It was on telling the difference on whether or not it is the Holy Ghost prompting you, or just yourself.
Here is the answer he has for all members.
The spirit is not always a huge feeling telling you to do something, and while you are waiting around as a missionary hoping to feel the spirit, you arent getting anything done.
I can not do Elder B and justice by telling you about it, you would just have to watch. it was inspiring and helped me recognize that sometimes i wont know that the spirit was guiding me until later down the road. just quit worrying about it and do it.
Read D&C 80 and notice in verse 3 that The Lord doesnt say specifically where to go, cause it doesnt matter, The Lord doesnt care, he will guide you no matter what.
This last week has been fantastic, and i know that ill be in the field before i can blink.
My spanish is a lot better than last week, and the church is so true.
If you are wondering about faith, read Alma 32: 21, 26-28.
We never will no 100% that this gospel is true, but we can get to 99.9%, and that is good enough for me.
I love you all, im so glad to hear Trek went well, and that you survived.
I AM SO EXCITED FOR CHASE WALTON! I cannot believe that he will be serving with me here in Guate, lets just say Guate is the new Germany for the Waltons eh? sorry craig.
Retalhuleu is a great mission i hear, and i will let all my teacher know to watch out for him in a couple months!
So i guess an Elder passed away in my mission a couple weeks ago, keep my Mission Pres and the Elders family in your prayers please. We was electrocuted while doing some service.
Also i sent a bunch of hand written letters last wednesday so you all should get them this week. If you want to write me a letter here in the CCM, send it by wednesday! otherwise send it to my mission home that my sister will post the address on my blog.
Keep the missionaries in your prayers, and read that book about nephi or something like that. i hear it is dece.
Elder Walton

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Hey everyone!

I miss you all, and this computer is in spanish so every english word i write puts a squigly red line under it and it is so annoying!

This last week was absolutely amazing.
First of all, I´d like to apologize for not answering all your questions mom.. when i reply i forget what you asked and said in your email and just talk about me.
It´s great to hear about all the farewells! Im glad that all my bros are in the MTC now or soon, because I want everyone to be doing the same thing that i am doing.. it´s the best thing i could be doing right now. Glad to hear grant, craig, gavin, daniel, ryan, alex, and everyone else did great on their farewells!
Good luck with trek, and bring moleskin... and a chill pill mom.

So this week ive felt the spirit more in my life than ever... usually when i feel the spirit it´s just for a little, and im not sure if i said this in my last email, but here in the CCM, you can go a like 20 minutes straight with the goosebumps and a beating heart, and this holy spirit is amazing.

This week the antiguos misioneros left for the field, so on monday night all the elders went to the 2nd nivel and sang called to serve in spanish as loud as we could. IT WAS AMAZING. Ive never felt so united with a group of guys, besides when us soccer bros hit the field before a big game. I can´t even describe the emotions there. The language is getting better, but I quickly learned that i can only talk about the gospel in spanish, and nothing else. We went to the market across the city and it was the most humbling experience ive ever had. They gave us our cameras for the day so ill send you some pictures i took once i get out in the field in three weeks. The guatemalan people are so amazing, and poor. It was crazy seeing what kind of circumstances people live in, and i cant wait to be able to teach the gospel to them soon.

I honestly feel spiritually, emotionally, and physically stronger every night my head hits the pillow, and i know the Lord is blessing me in my life. At the same time, the adversary is real, and ive never head all my weaknesses exploited and shown to me all at once. Ive quickly learned what im bad at, and what i need to work on. The gospel is stronger than the adversary, and im still happy as ever!

The MTC hasnt changed much in the last week. We have less latinos this transfer, and the new guys are doing really well with the language. We got two nortes in our room now, so no latinos singing Demi Lovato until 11 pm.

Here´s a few funny stories and stuff we do to get by and keep from going insane..
Instead of saying buenos noches (good night) we say buenos nachos (you can translate that) and buenas nalgas (Good butts). I dont know why but it´s so funny to us. So i heard that a missionary in my field got his arm bit off by a lion at the zoo a couple years ago, and it was the first week MY president was serving, so he´s like super strict, and i cant wait to hear all the crazy rules he has!

We play volleyball during deportes because too many kids got hurt playing soccer (futsal) so they banned it. It sucks too because EVERYONE wants to play soccer, even the football jocks, because we are in a foreign country and soccer is cool to everyone now. Posers. Just kidding but seriously all the elders go a buy futbol jerseys from the venders on pday and i see nerds walking around repping some Man U or Barca and it just makes me laugh. I love all the elders here thought... casi.

Our bedroom became the party room and now all the elders come in at 10ish and we tell crazy stories about back home and it´s always a good way to end our long days. Im also grateful mi compañero is a bro and we get along really well. the only time me and elder tingey argued is when we were talking about who´s state was better. Arizone is bloody hot, how can he say it´s better? haha

I´m enjoying every minute of my mission, and Im so grateful to have the opportunity to serve. I probably should start sharing so spiritual experiences in my emails so here´s one.
We teach and practice each other, our teachers, the latinos, and random people throughout the MTC. The other day we taught a less active and it was amazing. I honestly could feel the gift of tongues with me. My spanish was so clear and i felt the spirit while teaching for the first time. Afterwards he gave me and elder tingey and hug and said something is spanish, obviously, i dont know what but the spirit was amazing.
Ive been working hard on learning more spanish because it´s hard to feel the spirit while teaching in another language because you´re so busy translating everything in you head. BUT, the gift of tongues is real. It´s sort of frustrating though because i was teaching latinoe 1 on 1 last night and i was choking out spanish for 20 minutes straight and it was pure garbage. I dont think i was spiritually prepared and i recognized it.

The CCM and whole missionary experience has made me think a lot about what i want in my life with the future. I´ve never thought about my future kids until i got here, and i cant wait to be a father and a husband. The gospel blesses families and i want my family to have that. I still haven´t had an inspiring expereince telling me what to do with my career, but that will come.

I love you all, and good luck with everything.

Love, Elder Walton