Monday, January 28, 2013

First Week in the Field

My companion's name is Elder Maddy. He is so cool. We have on date to baptize 1 person and 4 others that should get baptized and will it is just a matter of when. I am serving in Sandy, Utah; it is 1 mile by 1/2 mile. Not very long at all and my companion has served all 8 months in this area. He knows every house and half of the people. lol. It is really cool, so many miracles happen. Example: We were on the last lesson of the day. It was a non active member. We knocked on the door and he did not answer so we went back in the car and I put it in drive. Then my companion told me to hold on and we said a prayer. I prayed for someone to teach. When we opened our eyes that person whose house we were at was right in front of our car. It was so cool. He really wanted to talk to us too. He has a bump on his chest and thinks it might be cancer because he smokes. We gave him a blessing. It was so cool. 

There has been so much that happened. It snowed 7 inches yesterday. Crazy to drive in. We live in a member's house and she is an old lady we call Grandma. She is funny. Also I showed up and I was told that I would be giving a talk in our church this Sunday. You know how much I love giving talks. It went so much better then I thought. I have already learned so much. I wish I had more time to type. I think I will send home my journal when I am done and you can read though that. It has a lot of good stories in it that I can't write.

By the way the average number of baptisms is 30. That's so cool.

Now some advice to the family: Read the Book of Mormon with a question in mind. It always gets answered if you diligently are seeking for it.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Life from the MTC

We spend a lot of time in class learning; it is similar to seminary. We learn and grow as a group. I love it. I learn so much. When you get a group of kids together that want to learn and set them on a topic, you learn so well. We talked about the Holy Ghost yesterday with out a teacher and I learned so much. I love the Bible Dictionary; there is so much information in that. I think that if you could get your students to love the scriptures and to learn together while searching the scriptures that you learn so much more. I also saw a movie of Elder Holland and he talked about teaching. He said that if your students are not wanting to learn that what you need to do is to just love them. I also think that this applies to me and Ben because if they don't want to listen then we just love them as much as we can.

So we got a new MTC president. He told us that there are 2,300 missionaries here now and at the peak there will be 8000 missionaries. That is a lot. It already feels crowded I don't know what they are going to do when it becomes 8000 people here.

Last Tuesday, we heard from Elder Holland. It was cool. I forgot my notes so I will tell you what I remember. He said that this is as close to "real life" as possible. I always felt that is was like another life that I would embark in a new life. Also he said that it is a great time to be alive and serve a mission. He wants us to know what we did in heaven to come down at this time and serve a mission.
He also said that we need to convert one person at least. He said that God commanded us to do it and he commands us to do it. The person we need to convert is ourselves. He said that if we fell away after a mission that you would not want to meet him in a dark alley. lol. That was funny.

I saw a person from Morgan, Utah I did not get her name and could not find her after but I thought that was cool. She played the piano at the departure devotional.

At the devotional we learned that we have to send you a letter no matter what. LOL I will remember all of that and will never forget to write you.

Also I leave Wednesday at 6:00 in the morning.
I am going to miss the MTC. I remember Dad saying that he started to eat cereal the last several days because after a while you don't like a full breakfast.
We had the fire alarm go off when we were in one of our classes that was exciting.

I am trying to think more of what to say.
Well I love you and miss you.
Elder Joshua Walker

P.S. Tell Ben that I did not get the sickness that was spreading around the MTC, but we are not allowed to shake hands.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Quick week, Slow days

So I became a District Leader. I sent a letter about 4 days ago to Ben and you. It explains more info. This week has gone by fast, but the days go by slowly with all the things I am learning. I am studying harder then I ever have before. I thought I was doing a lot of work at college, but this is so much more. I am learning to enjoy the talks on Sunday and I met the guy that made and  He gave a fireside last night and he gave a great talk and suggested for us to help members like you to use your Facebook to spread the gospel. He gave a story of several people that converted due to Facebook.
I like going to the temple. I can go every Monday. Tell Ryan not to eat the pancakes or the waffles they are horrible. I think we could have killed someone with one of the waffles. At least there are other options to eat from. 
I don't really know what else to say. So much happens it all becomes a blur, but I still have some time so it will be random things I remember. So our sisters are really cool. I have 6 of them. I thought that was normal until I noticed some districts with no sisters. Every bed this week will be filled and they are going to start to put more people into a 4 person dorm. It is getting really crazy here. The line for food can be a 15 min wait and we only have 30 min to eat. 
About my companion: He does not like to talk much, but he can explain things simply. I on the other hand give too much info that they don't need to hear. We are getting so much better then the first day and I thought I was prepared before I came. Tell Robert and Ryan to read the Preach My Gospel a lot. I have read it probably like 5 times, some parts 20 times like the first lesson. I have only taught the first lesson so far and 1/2 of the second one.
My time is spent so I hope you all are happy. I love you Mom, Dad, Monica and Robert.
Elder Walker.

P.S. I know you will do well with the seminary kids you are a good teacher.

Just for the readers to know, Elder J. Walker is at the MTC right when all these new missionaries are reporting in as a result of President Monson's announcement in the October General Conference 2012. The church sent out an update on the missionary response to this announcement. It's entitled "Response to Mormon Missionary Age Announcement Remains Enthusiastic and Unprecedented."

Monday, January 7, 2013

First week in the MTC

Written by Elder J. Walker's mother: So, funny thing this morning, (pay attention Josh).  Robert went to put his new suit jacket on this morning and found a card with money in his suit pocket.  The card wished him well on his mission.  Turns out Joshua took Robert's suit coat (looks just alike, but a size off) and left his with Robert.  Pretty funny.  I will mail it to the MTC tomorrow morning.  I will also call the MTC to figure out the best way to have Josh mail Robert's suit back to him.  :-) So Josh, did you notice that your suit didn't fit quite right?

I did notice that I had the wrong suit this morning lol that stinks. At least I have another suit. I forgot several things like pj's and other miscellaneous things so if you have not sent that mail yet; I need a t-shirt and a notebook and another pair of shorts. I sent a letter. I am surprised it has not gotten there yet. 

I have learned a lot like the answers to hard questions that investigators might ask. For example: What if my family will disown me if I join the church? I have not taken very many pictures but I have taken some. Yay. I have been tired the whole time I have been here. I get 8 hours of sleep and we are almost always in bed on time. I did not know how much time you would spend in the classroom. I like the food; people sometimes complain about it, but I think is is good. (Tell Ryan that he thinks it will be bad because of his brother's letters).

I did go to the temple not the SLC one. It was too far to drive over there. Good job Robert on catching the fish. I stink at that. I sent you a letter about my companion's name and other things so don't get mad at me like you do Ben. lol.

I teach too much of the lesson when we do it to the fake investigators I need to work on that. We taught a lesson the second day. I was not prepared to do that. Tell Ryan to practice on people and get good questions to ask. If you can think of any questions that would make the investigator think more send that next week. They say I am talking too much and not giving enough time to the investigators so I need good questions to ask. I am sorry about the room I was not thinking about that. Just leave if for Ben to clean up I had to clean up his stuff when he left and put it in boxes. Just kidding, that is too long to wait. So I will be here for 3 weeks and the next group to come this week will be here for 12 days. so they are going to leave before me and I got here first. That is strange. 

I love you family,
Elder Walker

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Farewell Elder Walker

Elder Walker and his younger brother.
Elder J. Walker gave a talk in church on Sunday, December 30th about Jesus Christ as a Missionary. By all reports, he did an amazing job.

On Monday, December 31st, Elder Walker was set apart as a missionary.

On Tuesday, January 1st, he as left his home and family in California to travel to Utah to begin his two-year service for the Lord.

Here are some pictures of the experience. If you're his Facebook friend, more can be found in his album here.

Elder Walker with his mother and brother.
Elder Walker with his younger sister.
Elder Walker with his father.