Monday, February 25, 2013

Word of Advice, Please?

It definitely snowed a lot this week. We got the car grounded 3 times because of how bad it was so I had to walk in the snow. I actually kinda like it though, it does make everything look so clean. Also, the baptisms were very cool. My first 2 baptisms! Yay! I gave a talk on Baptisms. I am going to keep all of the programs of the baptisms that we perform. We now don't have very many investigators because 3 of them are moving and 2 of them got baptized. It is crazy the work that is going on here.
First, I might be switching missions because they are splitting our mission in July! There is going to be a Salt Lake City East Mission. So the mission will be changing drastically. I know that one of the BYU-I teachers will be our new mission president. (I can't remember his name. You can look it up online. [It's John C. Eberhardt]). That is cool. Also, we had a talk from a member of the 70 (Elder Clayton) he told us before it came to the general public. I really like talks from general authorities. I was also able to go to the temple this week. The Draper temple. It was strange being there because I was there with you guys not that long ago, but the Elders in my district know so much about the temple. Have I told you I love Elder Maddy? (In the pictures of me at zone conference I was probably sitting next to him). I hope I am going to be able to stay with him through the next transfers. (They are this week).

So we have this investigator that knows everything she needs to know for baptism but just won't get baptized. She has been on date 4 times and keeps falling through. (She came to another baptism). She is such a great person. Any advice? I think that she might be getting too close to us. That part confuses me. We are supposed to love our investigators, but they are not supposed to love us too much. That is harder to do than you think.
She has lots of friends in the Church so it will not be a problem that is is not converted to the church. But it is still a challenge. Any advice Ben?

In Utah, we get desserts every day. Once we got 4 desserts in one day because when we go tracting and run into an active members home they always offer us dessert and they don't accept no as an answer. I think I will be a lot heavier when I return than when I came out :( Not good. My companion has gained 15 pounds in 3 transfers. Again. Not good. Lol. We eat so well some weeks I love it. I think when spring comes and it gets above 40 degrees then we will start to ride bikes and that will help a lot with that.

One funny experience that we had was eating at a Tongan (maybe Samoan) family's house for dinner. The first 3 plates that she brought to the table were covered in Meat. It was so much food. They made us eat most of it. By the time we were done I could hardly move, I don't think I have ever eaten so much meat in my life. (I feel like I was breaking the word of wisdom by not eating meat sparingly.) Then they brought out dessert for us. 
One of them was actually from Modesto. That was cool, he was inactive and in the other stake but it was still cool. Most people know where Modesto is. That surprises me a lot.

I love tracting. We meet so many funny people and I have had some of the shortest conversations of my life tracting. Example: "Hi." Cut off he said, "Not interested." Door shuts as I start to ask, "So who do you know that we can share this Gospel to?" To get a referral. I think it is crazy the things people say to us. 

Another example: "Do you really think that we were made in the image of God?" We said, "Yes." He goes on and said, "I don't thing God would have to clip his toe nails do you?" Then he rambles on talking about how ridiculous the Mormon Religion is. That was one of the funniest conversations we had at a door. I just wish that they would open there hearts a little so that they would understand a little better the things that we could bring them.

Letter to mission president: 
2 Diligence. I am going to strive to work this week! I am going. This week, we need to find [people to teach] and diligence, I believe, is what will help us the most to succeed in this aspect of the work.
3 This week in PMG, I studied the restoration through the prophet Joseph Smith. I learned that there is a lot more in that section then I thought there was. When I teach it now I know that there is more then just the vision even though that is the most important part.
4 This week to strengthen my companionship with Elder Maddy I did his dishes so much throughout the week
5 This week the most spiritual experience I had was the baptisms we had. They were wonderful. We had an investigator show up to one of them and I think that was a tender mercy of the Lord. They had great talks that helped her with her concern. I love being a missionary so much even with all the hard work.

Don't expect this long of letter ever again. We had extra time given to us today to type.
Love Elder Joshua Walker.

P.S. Good job Robert on the talk! I can just imagine you giving it. Just like your testimonies.

Word of advice (activate less active members).

Monday, February 18, 2013

Obedience and Continued Learning

Obedience is what I am going to work on. We are very obedient, but we need to be 100% obedient and that is what I will strive to do. So no going to bed a few minutes late or getting up right away and not waiting a few minutes to wake up more.
I learned that we need to be a lot more like King Benjamin. He worked for himself even though he was king. We all need to still work hard even if a lot of the members are doing things for you. We are required to help them back by giving a quick lesson and bring people to the gospel.
I made [my companion] breakfast the other day. We work well together in everything we do. :)
This week we have had very good lessons. The people that we invited to be baptized are already changing and I can see that in them. That is very cool to me because it helps me see that the gospel really does change lives for the better.

So Monica, we get quite a few atheists here in Utah. I have found that what best helps them is example and your testimony. Tell her that you know that there is a God out there and that He loves me and you. 

Robert, I am glad that you learned that you can always learn. Before my mission I thought I had a very strong knowledge about our religion, but I learned that I know almost nothing. Some questions are hard to answer when people talk about parts of the Bible that we believe in and I know nothing about. Example: We have an investigator who is ready for baptism but does not think that she knows about Joseph Smith. So she is asking questions about other faiths like Jehovah Witnesses. They believe that only a certain number of people will be saved because of what it says in Revelations. I did not know anything about that at all. Luckily my companion did and we were able to answer his question.

We have lots of people preparing for baptisms. We are going to have 2 for sure this week!!! Yay. I am really excited for those baptisms. 
They are both young like 9-12. They are from family that were not active. Now they are becoming active. It is so cool that all of this is happening. We had several fall off date because of not going to church. (It was stake conference).
We also have this potential investigator who is a historian and he believes that Jesus Christ is black and most of the people in the Bible. He won't get baptized until we change all of the pictures in the church to him being black. He does not believe that God would give any one church the full Gospel. (That is strange). He is a great guy. He talks way too much and we spend a lot of time trying to get out of there. lol.

I saw a great video in stake conference. It was called something like "Earthly Father and Heavenly Father". You should try to find it. [It can be found here]. It was really inspirational. I stink at remembering peoples names. I don't know how to improve this. I study the names in personal study. I am scared to think that when the transfers occur that I will be left here and have to teach the new missionary where things are and peoples names.

Well I love you Mom, Dad, Alex, Ben, Monica, Robert and Grandpa and Grandma, plus the whole ward.
Elder Walker

By the way Mom never give the missionaries pizza I got it 3 times this week. It get old after a while. You should ask them what they want to avoid repeating the same meal every day.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Invitations of Baptism, Dogs, and People

I can have lots of music. So if you could send me a CD full of gospel songs that would be great. I also remember songs that we had in our DVD player, it was by a Mormon artist group that did not use any instruments just their mouths. It is a lot of fun Church tunes. We can have music that is fun too like Disney music. Now I don't want any Disney music, but that is to show you how lenient he is on music.

My mission president told me that two separate bishops wrote him letters. Which 2 bishops he did not tell me. I know Bishop Burnham, but who else?

This week has been very cool. I invited 2 people to be baptized. It was very neat. The first one we did not think we were going to be able to teach him because his wife said he was sick. We offered a blessing. He accepted. I gave the blessing part (my first one on the mission). It really brought the Spirit there. Then we taught a little and then I popped the question if he will be baptized. He said he will! He has some work to do. He smokes a lot but he will stop. He is doing it a lot for his kids.
The second person is on probation. So that will be interesting. He did not come to church. :(

We have 6 on date to be baptized. We had 7 people come to church.

In Utah every one has a dog. I don't like dogs anymore. They detract the person from the lessons and they bark at every door we knock at. It is very annoying and my companion is scared of dogs kinda so we don't knock at every door because there are huge dogs barking at us all the time.

I love the members. That makes this the best mission ever. Everyone is honking at you and waving, and when we are walking people offer rides all the time.

Last week I talked to some one who knew Ryan's oldest sister. She said that she would call her and tell her that I stopped by.

Again here is what I sent to my mission president:
I am going to work on charity. I think that if we work on this we will see more investigators this week then we did last week. 
I was reading Isaiah 55. I love the part were it says that Gods ways are higher then ours. I think I needed to know that because sometimes I think that I always know the best way to do something, but God knows a lot more then I ever have or will. I need to remember that. 
I love Elder Maddy he is the greatest missionary ever. I feel like we are best friends. We never argue and we work really well together. I think that is one of the reasons that we have so many on date to be baptized. The only thing I think we need to work on is that I teach more from the scriptures in our lessons because he normally whips out the scriptures and I don't ever know what scriptures to use. I think that If I participate a little more in the lessons that it would solve this problem. 
The testimony builder that I had this week was that I did invite 2 people people to be baptized and I did the blessing part in a blessing for the sick and afflicted this really helped my testimony grow because I felt the Holy Ghost at those times.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Mt. Jordan Stake

I cover 7 wards, 1 stake. It is a lot of work. Last week, the first Sacrament meeting I went to was 30 minutes long. Strange. The talks were like 3 min each. That was strange. I go to 3 sacraments each week. This week we had 11 kids go up and bare there testimony. They did it in a row and all said the same thing. "I know the Church is true and I love my family. In the name of Jesus amen". It was strange. We have on date 3 people to be baptized so hopefully that will happen. I am excited.

My area is Mt. Jordan Stake. Not very big, and yes I do drive. I like driving in the snow. lol. We don't go very fast in residential areas and that is all we have. I forgot to tell you my first night I got offered to smoke pot with someone. He was high and did not know who we were. I love the people in my district, they are funny. My companion thinks I am weird. Am I? lol. I love him. He teaches me alot.

So this week I went out to eat 3 times and 2 times someone paid for us. That is so cool. I think I will do that when I get home. Also I keep thinking about some families back home. You guys need to invite them to all the ward activities and ask them to help in it. I have learned that it helps you accept people better when you are serving.

Some people shut the door when we are talking to them. I think I have had the shortest conversations ever.

I hate drugs. So many people have problems with that and they want to quit, but it is so hard for them to quit.

My mission president, Pres Miller, is so cool. He has great advice for us every time we do something like talking to everyone you can think of.

Got to go, might write more later if I have time.
Love Elder Walker