Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Questions for Brother, Elder B. Walker

[Elder J. Walker's questions and response to his brother's Elder B. Walker's email home.]

I also gave a talk yesterday, but I had time to prepare. I can't believe that you only are 155 pounds Ben. I am bigger then you now. It will be strange when we stand next to each other after my mission. I don't think I have gained any weight lately. I am still about 170. I think that is because I am now on a bike a lot more often. Me and my companion race sometimes. The max speed I got to on level ground is about 35 MPH. That is fun when you are going the same speed as the cars next to you.

We had 2 baptisms this week, Eddie Woodson and Mike Pearson. Mike read the whole Book of Mormon in 3 weeks. That was before he was baptized. He was the most prepared investigator I have ever taught. I love those people where they are like unto little children because they are so willing to learn and accept new ideas.

Ask any of the elders in your area Ben if they are from Sandy, West Jordan, Riverton, South Jordan, Draper, Kearns, or Hairmen. Those are the only cities in my mission.

Also Ben, we have a ward and a branch in our area that I have never gone to their Sacrament Meeting because we have had no work there and we have had to be at other sacrament meetings instead due to investigators. So I know very few people from that area.

Most of the kids in Utah have already started school. It is strange to think that I don't have to worry about school for a long time.

Mike's Friends
We have a lot of work in this area. When I first came into it we have 1 person on date and 2 lessons with a member present a week. I remember struggling because we were working so hard to get those people and nothing was coming. Then about 3 weeks later we would get calls from people and tell us that they have a friend that wants to learn about the gospel. This happened quite a lot. Eddie was a media referral and Mike's girlfriend's Dad called us and told us that he has someone that wanted to receive the lessons. We now have 10 lessons with a member present a week and 4 people on date to be baptized even when we already baptized 2 people on Saturday. This is a valuable lesson to me because it shows me that I can't do it by myself. We have to rely on the Lord to help us as we do His work. (This was the topic of my talk yesterday). It says in Preach My Gospel page 97 that "No man can preach the Gospel without the Holy Ghost." It also says to not rely on yourself, but on the Spirit. How much can we do by ourselves? Basically nothing. We would not be here if we only relied on ourself.

 21 I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.
(side note if we serve him with our whole soul we would still not profit God anything. We are so small compared to God, but we have the potential to become like him)
 22 And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.
 23 And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.
 24 And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?
We do have the potential to become like him. D&C 76:58: "Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God—"

Russian New Member
That is my lesson for the day.

Also I have 2 questions that I have been thinking of this past week I want someone to help me answer them:

1)  D&C 76:74: "Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it."
This is the people that will go to the terrestrial kingdom, but why if they except it in the spirit world do they not get to receive the celestial glory only because they did not receive it in the flesh? So does that mean when I teach someone and they don't receive it that I have condemned them because I taught them and they were not willing to progress?

2) What is an intelligences? Abraham 3:22: "Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;"
Is it like the dust of the Earth? like our physical bodies were created? Did we think for ourselves while we were intelligences?

Just some questions that I don't know and was wondering if you could find the answers for me.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Weather and Day-to-Day

I also would like to swap weather here in Utah for Modesto weather. It changes every 5 min. I think it is kind annoying. You don't know whether to go out in rain, snow, or really hot sun.

I got pictures of BJ parent's house [Elder J. Walker's brother-in-law's parents]. We were driving about 3 minutes away from it and I decided to get a picture of it. I thought that was kind cool. We have an elder who lives with his aunt. He is a Tongan elder.

We have 5 people on date. 2 of them are going to be baptized this week. Yay. I love it when people come closer to the waters of baptism. I took lots of pictures this week. (I always think of you when I take a picture Mom).

A lot happened this week I just cant think of it right now. As you can tell we are writing later then normal. We did some service for a really cool investigator that we picked up. He came to church yesterday. I was so excited. 

Well I will try to write more next week. 

Elder Joshua Walker

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Warm Rain

So I laughed at the first part of [Elder B. Walker's] letter because I am sitting here right now drenched in rain. It is still hot even when it is raining. I don't like warm rain. You can't put on a jacket because it is too hot, but if you don't you will be drenched! Oh well. We had an 8 year old baptism the other day. It was a less active family that we have been trying to help and their son got baptised the other day. Yay! I love being a missionary even with the hard times there is one good moment that makes us for a million bad ones and I have not had a million bad one 

Well I started way late today so I don't have any time.
Love you all

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Utah Experiences

My companion and a Member
Here in Utah it is very hot. About the same as it is in California I am sure, but in California I was not outside all the time. Ben, I am drenched sometimes at people doors too, but not from a storm but from sweating so much. There was a record high about 4 days ago for June. It was 105. We had a car this week, but the problem is that we don't ever drive very far. We drive at the most 5 min and at that time the car is just starting to get the same temp as outside. The car is about 130 inside when we start, and about 95 when we get out. 

Interesting story. We were going through the unbaptized kids list and the very first door we knocked on was an anti-Mormon guy. He came out with a paper and a pen and asked for the people that sent us there. We told him that no one sent us to his door, but God and that we were representatives of Jesus Christ. He then got really mad and told us to tell who ever sent us that they don't want any thing to do with him. So basically he said he doesn't want anything to do with God. He then started to swear at us and told us that he was going to go to church and find out who our leader is and yell at him in the middle of sacrament. So then we told him when church starts and that he is welcome to come. (We were not trying to be mean). He then got really really mad and got into his car. Almost ran over our bikes and drove off and told us that we were going to be sorry. (By the way, this is not super unusual. It does not happen much but every once in awhile we will knock on a door and something like that will happen.) The strange thing is that he actually did something. The next day we had correlation meeting and the Stake President showed up and told us that he [the anti-Mormon man] went to the temple (it is like 10 min from his house). He [anti-Mormon] tried to go in and the Temple President talked to him. (I don't know exactly what happened there, except that he was really mad and told the temple president that he does not want any one coming by his house again). He told us earlier that he was going to call the police. He did call them, but he probably got a hold of a Mormon there because they told him that the missionaries did nothing wrong and that they are allowed to do that.

This experience went into my journal.
I was debating whether to tell you or to wait until I get home. I don't want you to think I am harmed from any of it because I am not, but I want you to be aware that even though we are on the Lord's mission (all of us not just missionaries) we still face trials.

We baptized Brandon on Saturday. The water heater did not work so we heated some water in the kitchen. My companion did the actual baptism and he said that the water was freezing. It reminded me of Ben's baptism where the water was really cold. I did the confirmation the next day. We were doing it at 9 and we also were going to give talks at 9 in a different ward. So we did the confirmation and then hurried over to the other ward and walked in about 15 min late and gave our talks then we gave 2 more presentations for primary. It was really busy yesterday. Sundays are crazy for missionaries and I thought that we were commanded to rest on the Sabbath Day.

Also give my thanks to the Chapmans. I am really good at getting along with kids because of them. We are teaching two 9 year olds and one came in the other day and said "McKenzie has a crush on you," then turns to McKenzie and said "I told him your secret." lol I thought that was really funny. My companion thought it was hysterical. I really do get along with kids really well. I know how to play with them while still being a missionary. I think that is due to babysitting the Chapman kids.

Elder Joshua Walker