Monday, December 15, 2014

Last Letter

Happy birthday Robert! you are 15 years old. when I left you were 13 still a deacon. I love you!!

Mom I want to tell you that I am so grateful that you have written me my entire mission. I am glad that I could always look forward to you writing me each Monday. 
At the beginning of my mission I set a goal that I would never miss one week of writing back to you. I am glad that I was able to accomplish my goal. Goal setting can be amazing if it really means something to you. That is one thing I learned on my mission.

This week has been one of the best weeks of my mission. I think I changed someone's mission. there was an elder who I really love and who is new to the mission. He is in my district and from Mexico. I love him so much and he trusts me a lot. He asked me to come over and give him a blessing. It was a wonderful blessing from God, but afterwards he asked to talk to me in private. He was very sincere and loving, but he was really home sick and was considering going home. We talked for about 1 hour and afterwards we called the mission president and he wanted me to go to the interview with him. So me and him went up to the mission office and talked to President Chambers. He talked to him first then I went in afterwards. President Chambers told me that he wants to be my companion, not because he said that, but because he could feel it from him. Then he told me what he found out about the situation and then asked me to find out where he should be transferred to. That is a request that I have never seen the mission president actually ask a missionary before or even ever heard of that. That was a big responsibility and I had to do it in the next few hours. So he told me to think about it and text him when I figured it out. Crazy, I love my mission. About 2 hours later after thinking and praying I had a name come into my mind and I know that was the person he should be with. It was really cool experience. He said that I was like his brother out here and he was so glad to get to know me. I am sad that I could not be with him next transfer, but the Lord knows that was not what was in store for him. It was a very unique experience for me. I love my mission. 

Also do you remember what I said about my goals last week about the main one was to put some people on date? Well yesterday, We put 4 people on date. It made me so happy. The Lord has truly blessed me. 

Also here in Utah it has not snowed very much, but I really wanted it to snow before I went home. So yesterday morning it was snowing! Prayer answered. My prayers have been answered all this week. I love it. I know God loves me and what I have done. 

I am going to go visit lots of other people today, so I don't have that much time. 

I will see you in a few days!

 Elder Walker

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Season

So the Iraq family we are not working with as much. We have passed them over to the ward. Alisha is progressing slowly. We bought a nativity set for her. Just a cheap one, but she was appreciative of the gift. She is one that I need to stay in contact when I come home. Ben and I will be driving though here soon right? I just want to keep in contact with these people on my mission.

This week has been fun. You are right about Christmas. Sometimes people are really excited to see us in the Christmas season, other times they are too busy with the Christmas season for us. We had lots of appointments this week and we had about 15 cancel, but we were still able to get 14 lessons in. that was exciting. Tonight we are going to go to Temple Square with a less active family that wants to go though the temple as a family. I hope they do it. Their names are the Hogges. 

The stake president thinks very highly of us as missionaries. He tells us that every week. He is one of those stake presidents that you can tell just loves everyone. I like him a lot. 

I had an interview with my mission president this past week (not my last one), but he gave me a lot of good advice. 
He told me to think about these 2 questions:
  1. What are the patterns learned as a missionary that I will continue after I am released?
  2. What are worthy goals that I want after my mission? 

It was an interesting conversation with my mission president. I like him a lot. If I could follow his example I would be a much better person in life. 

Our goals next week is to teach 8 investigators with a member present, 2 other lessons and 5 lessons with a recent convert or less active. We are going to try to find 3 new investigators. 
But the main goal that we are going to work on is putting someone on date to be baptized. That is the hardest struggle right now.

Also another Goal is not to think about what is next so basically focus on the work.. haha. (Something that my whole life I have been asked to make sure I know what is coming next. So it is funny that right now I am trying not to do that.) I know that missionary work will continue.

The "He is the Gift" initiative is a good thing to be doing. We share it at all of our dinner appointments so they remember why we have Christmas. Some people even tell me they have seen it on billboards in Utah. Also it was on the news. I thought that was so cool. The Church is really smart. That is what happens when you get God to run the church. 

I also did 2 exchanges this week. Once with a zone leader and another time with the elders in my district. It is fun to be able to help other missionaries learn what I have learned and also to see what they naturally do. Especially when they are new. There are some unique Ideas that they come up with. They are 100% spirit driven, because they have nothing else to really go off of. It is fun to work with them.

I will be doing one more exchange this week. I hope I can be of some help to them in their area. It is struggling a little bit. I wish I knew [when I first came out] some of the things I know now about missionary work and how to help other missionaries. I just need to focus on them, not necessarily their area. Areas change, but if I can help the missionaries change then I am sure that Elder Goins will appreciate it a lot. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Lord Really has a Hand in this Work

This week has been interesting. We had transfers this week and both of us are staying together, but basically our whole district changed. One got whitewashed and the other one companion moved into a different zone. We also have 2 new Zone leaders. It is interesting switching leaders. Each of them work a little different and want things a little bit differently to be reported. It is a good learning experience for me because I have been in their circumstances before and I know what they need. It is just a different circumstance that I am not used to. 

I have a goal of finishing the Book of Mormon before I go home and I am way too far ahead. I am reading too much each day. I am kinda sad because in about 10 days I am going to be done with it. :( I love reading the Book of Mormon. It really has taught me a lot. 

This week we had a miracle. The Lord really has a hand in this work. I love it when I speak and when I learn form what I say. This is something that I have learned that the Spirit can teach me even though I am the one speaking. Sometimes people ask us questions that I am not sure how to answer and then I open my mouth and I feel the spirit speaking to me and I just talk. Sometimes I am amazed at the things I say. Sometimes it is really bold and other time is it is not even an answer to that question, but it helps them understand.  

Last night we went into this less active return missionary's home. He is recently married to a non member and he set up an appointment with us to visit. His wife refused to sit in the same room, but sat in the room next to it and said she would listen form there. It was a little funny, but she definitely listened and sometimes she would even comment from the other room. Eventually we got onto prayer and talked to him about prayer. It was a very special moment and he prayed at the end of the lesson and he was crying and I was crying. Very spiritual lesson. He also bore his testimony on Joseph Smith. That was very cool to see how the Spirit teaches people and how if we follow it we can be blessed. 

Another thing I learned on my mission is that missionary work is hard yes but most of the works is the Spirit's. We just have to bring it in the environment and then teach what we know. The Spirit is the converter not us. I am glad for that. It is already hard enough sometimes and to know that I can rely on Him relieves a big burden from me. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

"I Love my Mission"

Dear Family,

I love my mission, and that is an understatement. I have truly learned how to love the people and love those that don't like to see me. Now I still get frustrated with some people when I know that this would truly change their lives and change their attitudes towards the world, but we are all still improving. 

This week we had a baptism of Bella. She is almost 10 years old. She has been active for about 2 years. She loves the gospel, but both of her parents are not members. They came for the baptism and they also heard the message of the restoration, because we shared it while they were changing. It was a good experience with the family. 

Also we went to a ward council yesterday and I learned something really cool. The church can put together a party relatively easy. I was watching the interaction between the ward council and the bishop. It is interesting to learn about. You have about 10 people there and that represents about 200 people. so you ask them to do something and they can do it and are not afraid to ask someone else to do it if they know that are not going to be able to do it. I learned a lot in that meeting. Also learned that the bishop really likes when we report back to him quickly. It really develops trust. 

We are teaching this lady named Merlyinda. she is really nice. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and she loves it. She is reading a lot and has a lot of questions about everything. She is going to be baptized on Dec 15th. She still has some things she needs to overcome, but I know that if she works at it and prays that she will be able to do it. 

We are creating a lot of dry Mormons. People that are coming to church and like church, but don't want to be baptized. It is an interesting problem that I have not had very much on my mission. They will eventually be baptized, but it will take a while. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Working like Crazy

Crazy week! Lots of things are happening. We are working like crazy.

We have found 5 more new investigators this week. Some of them are hard to work with because of their background. I think this is one of the poorer areas I have ever been in. So it is a lot easier to find but harder to help them progress. For example there is this lady we are teaching that has been through a lot in her childhood. Lots of things that have ruined her life and her perspective on life. We found her and started to teach her and the main things we are working on is helping her understand that God loves her and wants her to change. I think that is of great importance in this life. That is one thing that I love teaching and that I have a testimony in. God loves everyone no matter what has happened in their life, but he does not always love our actions. I find a lot of the time that people think that because God loves them that he will not use his judgement upon them. That is a false Idea: that God loves you so he does not care about your actions. 

It reminds me of the scripture eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die (1 Corinthians 15:32) and if we are found guilty then we will have a few stripes and he will let us unto heaven. That is not an exact quote but that idea come to me a lot when I meet these people. It is amazing how many of the prophecies that the Book of Mormon talks about are true and are coming to pass right now.  

Another cool story:

Last night we had an appointment with these girls that are 9 and 10. The 9 year old has been baptized and the 10 year old has not, but the strange part is that the parents are not members. The kids go to church every week and the parents stay at home. They are very nice, but they refused to sit in on the lessons and to participate. So we sat there and taught these 2 wonderful little girls the Restoration. They love it. The Dad in the mean time is sitting behind us playing on his iPad and listening to us. Strange. The only time that he made comments are when we were trying to schedule the baptism. We scheduled it for Nov 15th, so 2 weeks. Really fast. The parents were fine with it. Any ideas how to get the parents involved in this? I know that at least the Dad was listening in the background, so he is at least feeling the Spirit. 

We also got the best comment from the Stake President. He said to me specifically: "We are so blessed to have you here in this stake. You are really developing trust with our leaders and are teaching a lot of the people in this stake." Then he turned to my companion and said to him, ''You need to learn from this Elder (pointing to me) because if you do what this elder is doing then you will be able to help in ways that you did not know before." Afterwards he pulled me aside and told me that he and all the bishops are vary grateful that we are serving in his stake and to keep smiling! He tells me that a lot. Keep smiling. I always ask the leaders what I can do for their callings and this stake president has always told me that I need to keep smiling, because that will help the stake the most. 
I Love My Mission!

This month's training plan is all on obedience. I love this topic. It is something that we can all improve on and something that I am excited to train on in district meeting. There are a lot of scriptures and stories that are all about obedience. 

Maybe I will share the story of Robert and not listening to the coach. Punishments happen, but we must be humble to learn and to grow from those consequences rather then just becoming mad.

I hope your parents feel better and become stronger. 

I use the analogy of the gate a lot. Never quite like you put it, but as a way to tell them that this is the first step into the pathway. 2 Nephi 31. I love that chapter!

As a missionary I would be so grateful that you were sitting next to the recent convert. That is always something that is kinda scary to see when the recent convert does not sit next to anyone. Yes we use a lot of terms that don't make sense to a new member of the church. As missionaries we become a lot more aware of when the teacher or person giving a talk starts talking about things that our investigator or recent convert does not know.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I love this Gospel

Elder Goins is doing great. We have been teaching a lot and he is getting better and better at it. Companionship study is very important in all of this training and learning 

This week was a good week. We are teaching a lot of people and we are helping people come back to church as well. I love this Gospel! It is so much fun to tell people about the truth. While we were siting here emailing home we had this lady come up to us and tell us that we should Google "Joseph smith abortions." She said that we were teaching a lie and that we need to know that Joseph Smith is a lie. Every time someone tells me something like this I think of the thing that Moroni told Joseph Smith:
He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindred, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people (JS-History 1:33).
I thought it was wonderful that Moroni warned Joseph about this and all of us as well.

I gave a talk in sacrament meeting this last Sunday. Someone fell though so they asked the missionaries to help with the talk. We had to be in another ward as well so we decided to do splits and I gave a talk. It was about 20 min long. I got to talk about what ever I wanted. I liked that. So I talked about the restoration. It was fun to be able to share that with so many people. 

I am sorry it is a shorter letter today. My computer died on me 2 times and it had to restart 2 times. 

I love this work. We have lots of people in our teaching pool. 

We are teaching several less actives that are coming back to church which is exciting! I am glad that they are doing so well and have such a desire to come to church. The only problem that we are running into is that we are so busy that we can't teach them a lot each week. This stake we are in has a huge potential to grow and to even have 2 sets of missionaries in it. The members are helping us a lot and I believe that they will continue to help us. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

I Love Being a Missionary

This week was a good week. Three new investigators and 16 lessons that we were able to teach. It was great! Especially for whitewashing. I showed some missionaries about Robert liking the girls attention more and they laughed. Funny.

Grandpa emailed me a letter and he used crazy works that I had to look up. This is what he said:
Grandma just told me I should send this to all our currently serving missionaries so they will read the antepenultimate paragraph.  (I hope you read the penultimate and the ultimate as well.)  In fact – you can read all of it.  Love each of you very much.     Grandpa Bean.  
We went to Temple Square this week and we loved it. It is a great opportunity to go up there and to be able to see the temple and all of the work the pioneers did and the spirit that is up there. Wonderful. I love being a missionary up here. 

Riding a bike it lots of fun. We get to see the area from a different perspective. Also my companion has fallen off of his bike about 5 times kinda funny. He is never injured seriously yet. 

I love being a missionary. We get to see people change their lives and we get to be a part of it. I am so glad that I get to be in the work of salvation. We also had stake conference this week. We learned all about the temple and how important it is to go to it as much as possible. 

My companion is learning the lessons and he is going great. He is an interesting person. 

We had a good experiences this week. Things that happen that are amazing and come out of nowhere. We had an investigator that has investigated for a long time. She accepted a date yesterday after reading 3 Nephi 11-- great chapter by the way. We read it and she said she wants to be baptized and we invited her to be baptized on Nov 8th. She said yes! Yay. I love seeing people so overcome with the Spirit that they change and want to come unto Christ. That is why this work is in a way easy because all we have to to is be ready and follow the Spirit.

I have been studying about service and the importance it is in the gospel. We need to serve everyone no matter what their circumstances and the places they are in their life because God asked us to. So I make my companions bed a lot because he does not like to do it. I also do other minor things that I don't think he even knows about, but that is ok I will keep doing it and he might see and recognize the importance of serving.