Thursday, September 30, 2010

Talofa Everyone!!!

Talofa everyone!!!! What is new? How is the house coming? Any new news about anything or anyone? Hopefully everything is great!!! Well the date to go to Samoa is coming up really soon!!! I can hardly wait!!! It is so exciting, the language is still pretty rough but it is coming!!! It is crazy what we have to do at almost every house!! there is an entrance speech that we give that is like four or five sentences, than when they invite us in, if they say something to the affect to recognize us as faifeau (preacher or missionaries) or say something it gives me the permission to give another speech that my companion will echo or I will echo him!! Then after we ask how the day went or something there is an igoa (name) speech which basically tells how the one who is talking will be the spokesperson for the companionship and introduce the two of them to the family and tell who they are and stuff like that!!! Then if they feed us right before we leave we give a faafetai speech (thank you) and it could last up to ten minutes once we get it down!!! It is so crazy but way cool!!! Our teachers demonstrated it for us and they speak so fast!! A funny thing with the faafetai speech is the head of the house will talk during it telling us to stop or thank you or too much or anything but we just keep going, it is way different but pretty awesome!!!
I am loving the mtc but I really cannot wait for Samoa!!! It will be so exciting!!! So conference is coming up this week and I gotta say I have a whole new perspective on it that is for sure!!! Just from the stuff I have learned while here in the mtc is crazy!! I write down things they say but also what I get impressed to write down!!! It is great to hear from a prophet!! Also to hear from all the other general authorities!!! It’s pretty cool that three from our district will represent us at the priesthood session!! So ya we are beginning to have class in Samoan only!! Starting out small but soon probably from this coming up Tuesday till we leave will be in Samoan!!! It is good for us to hear it but it still is hard to understand what they are saying!! Our teachers say the time will come when we will just start to realize that we are having a conversation in just Samoan like we would be in English!!! I can't wait for that day!!! It is so fun when we have conversations in Samoan and can understand each other!! So we are teaching two people in the te (teaching evaluation) and it is going great, when we can meet with them!!! We had another appointment fall through!!! It is good training I guess but I still want to at least teach the three or four lessons to one person before we leave!!! Oh well at least we will get the first and second lesson down right! ha ha missionary life is so great!!!
We had a speaker talk to us and she told us about how we are hearing so much more without all the technology around us! It is true I feel like I am hearing air all the time ha ha!! No but the spirit is so strong!!! It is awesome!!! I feel it every day!! We watched the Joseph Smith movie again on Sunday and it still amazes me the spirit I feel every time I watch it!!! It is a wonderful feeling and I went to the residence hall and wrote down all I felt in my journal and it was quite a bit!!! I am so grateful and blessed to have the gospel in my life!! I am so blessed to be able to serve a mission for the Lord and to learn a new language as well!!! It may seem like a sacrifice to me but it really isn't!!! It is way more of a blessing!!! I know this church is true with all my heart!! I know Jesus is the Christ!! He did atone for our sins!! He is our savior and Redeemer!! Our advocate with the Father!! I know Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God!! I know he saw what he saw and that he did translate the Book of Mormon!!! I know the Book of Mormon is the Word of God and Another testament of Jesus Christ!!! I know President Monson is a true Prophet on the earth today and holds all the priesthood keys!!! Thanks for everything!! I love all of you!! Ou te Alofa ia te Outou!!!!
Alofa(love) Elder Cody John Walker
ps. thanks for all the letters and packages!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Less than 3 weeks left in the MTC!!!

Talofa!!! How is everyone this week?! Hopefully good!!! Well I didn't make the choir but there is no surprise there ha ha but there were three from our district who were!!! Elder Smith, singing tenor, Elder Tanielu and Elder Johnson both singing baritone!!! But ya they had more experience than me, Elder Smith and Tanielu both sang in a high school choir and Elder Johnson sang in an acappella or however you spell it group!! They are all really talented and I am excited for them to go and sing at the Priesthood Session!!! One really exciting thing that happened this week is the Gym was reopened!!!! We haven’t been able to play basketball for the whole time we have been here and they even have indoor volleyball as well!! It will be so nice on Saturday nights when we have gym really late to be able to play inside!!! There were a couple of elders in my district who have been waiting for the gym for forever!!! They were so excited!! So I am so stoked for Samoa!!! I had a dream last night where we (my district and I) were getting on the plane headed to Samoa!!! When I woke up and realized it was dream I was so mad but ya we have two days less than three weeks left in the mtc!!!! It is blowing my mind!!! The language is still not all here yet but it is still coming ha ha!!! They told us that when we get to Samoa that the language will come twice as fast!! We just get the basics here and can speak in very simple sentences but can speak it!!! It is hard and takes awhile sometimes but I gotta just keep working at it!!!
So dad I hear you are the new mission leader of the ward!! How is that coming? That is such a cool calling and very vital to the missionaries in that area!!! Help them out they need all they can get!!! You will do awesome in it I know for a fact!!! Way to be!! So is the basement getting completed!!! Gotta get it done for the football games ha ha!!! Even though byu isn't looking to hot, I heard about riley nelsen, that stinks for him!!! But oh well that gives Jake heaps a jump start!!! Hopefully they can pick it up so it can still be a good game against tcu and Utah!!
So there is really nothing new to tell ya!! I am racking my brain for something to say besides telling you that we are studying hard and working to get the language down and also learning about the culture!! Oh something I can say that I learned is to lock my stuff up after I am and done using whatever I was using!! apparently in Samoan culture they say that if you leave something out that means that you are offering them to use your stuff and sometimes indefinitely!! They don't consider it stealing it is just the Samoan way!! So I guess that little lock on my suitcase will come in handy!!! My teacher told us that he had some missionaries from Samoan lock their stuff up and warned the palagi missionaries to do the same!!! one story he told us is that there was one area where if the missionaries didn't put their stuff away that there were some kids who just came in the house and would take (borrow) whatever they wanted and most of the time not return it!!! It’s just the way over there everyone shares everything!! he told us even they will come up to you and say all this flattering stuff and then ask for like your watch or ring and you have to say that it is dear to your heart and was a gift to you so you just don't say no!!! It was crazy but it’s definitely something different! ha ha!!
We for sure have a joker and funny guy in our district, Elder Rousseau from Tridell!! He is something else!! He always has a comment for anything someone says or does!!! It is so funny some of the remarks that come out of his mouth!!! there was this one time that elder humble wanted to go to the bookstore yet again(he just wants to go so much almost every day) and he asked our district who wanted to go and we all said that he had been like ten times already that week!!! he denied but we went through and named all the days he had, Rousseau named pday and humble said "that doesn't count that's pday" and without hesitation Rousseau said, "oh your right the book store isn't the book store on pdays!!!" he didn't even crack a smile but the whole room died laughing!!! I was practically crying I was laughing so hard!!! I love it we are just stuck in a room studying and sometimes we just need to laugh and have fun!!! We still get stuff done though!!! But ya it is so fun here in the mtc we make the most out of our stay here!!!
So what is new out there in the world ha ha!! I will be out in Samoa soon but it feels like time has stopped out in the world while I am here in the mtc not knowing anything ha ha!! No I am doing great though!!! I know this church is true!!! I know it with all my heart!!! God is our loving Heavenly Father!! He gave us this opportunity to come and gain a body and become like Him if we are righteous to the end!!! He sent His Son Jesus Christ to the World so that we can be saved!!! I know that through Jesus Christ we can repent of our sins and return to live with our Heavenly Father again someday!!! I know that Joseph Smith is a true prophet!!! I know he translated the Book of Mormon!!! I know it to be true!! President Monson is the living Prophet on the earth today!!! I love all of you!! You are all so special to me!!! Thanks for everything!!!
Love Elder Cody John Walker

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

TALOFA!!!! Hey how is everyone doing?? Hopefully just grand!! How is the house coming along? Have ya cleaned up all the mess they leave ha ha Hopefully it’s not too bad!!! Too bad for byu this past week they kind of got their butts kicked just a little bit!! and by air force!! I guess we underestimated them!! ya the whole quarterback thing needs to get fixed and fast!! They need to decide and play who they are going to play!!! oh well I don’t really care until I get back!! well almost! I won’t in Samoa but since I am still right by the campus that isn't totally true!! ha ha but I am still totally focused don't get me wrong but I just don't like us losing!!
So ya it was officially one month last Saturday the 11 and time is sure flying by now!!! I can’t believe I am already past halfway here at the mtc and will be in Samoa in no time!!! It is insane!! The language is still coming but we have a lot more to go!!! Our teachers have sat down with us and we have decided to do a lot more syl (speak your language) during classes and during our meals!!! It is hard but is the best way to learn a language!!! The Samoan language is so awesome and sounds so cool!! I definitely sound palagi and have been told that by the Samoans but they are so cool they help us and are way chill!! I cannot wait to be in that environment for a couple of years!! Our teachers Brother Smith and Brother Sturgess told us they are planning to fly down to Samoa next summer for a couple of weeks or more, that should be exciting!!! They are definitely the right teachers for the Samoan mission. They are way cool and are not like overly strict and annoying!! We are already way good friends and they are only like 3 or some odd years older than us so we can talk to them like we would any other person in our district!! So I am no longer the senior companion but am a junior companion, but two of the elders from our district are the new zone leaders!! Elder Smith and Elder Gschwend! They are good guys and way cool!! We also got our district leader changed to Elder Tanielu who is doing great!!
We have a great district and are all really good friends for the most part!! We may have disagreements or someone may annoy another from time to time but for the most part we get along!! We play volleyball almost every day and it is definitely a good rule to not keep score because we could definitely get way competitive over the score and it wouldn't be as fun!!! The Samoans have been coming and playing with us some days when they should be in class, but they don't care they just come anyway. It is so funny but ya they do what they want!! We definitely go to class and use our mdt wisely but when you are Samoan you do what you want no matter what haha jk but really!! The gym was closed for another two weeks so we still haven’t played inside yet some bball but ya they had some problems with the gym floor so we won’t have the devotionals and firesides in there until like the 28th so ya but its ok I like being outside anyway!!!
My companion and I got a little taste of missionary life by having two appointments fall through in a row, one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday! We were all ready for each one but apparently something happened with scheduling or their bosses!! We have this thing where you can sign up with a teacher in this building and they can act like a progressing investigator and we can teach them the lessons!! Not in Samoan but English!! We actually signed up for a Samoan teacher so we can teach her as a progressing investigator in the Samoan language!! It will be difficult but fun at the same time!! But ya the progressing investigators are good practice and we are getting better every day!!!
I love all of you!!! Thanks for the letters and support!!! I know this church is true!!! I know Jesus is the Christ and He paid the ultimate sacrifice for us!! I know God is our loving Heavenly Father!!! I know Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God!! I know he translated the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God!!! I know the Book of Mormon to be true and another testament of Jesus Christ!!! I know President Thomas S. Monson is a true Prophet!!! Thanks for everything !! I love every single one of you!!! Love your son brother and friend!!!!
Elder Cody John Walker

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Samoan friends

What in the WORLD!?!? You actually made WHITE bread ha ha jk!!! Thank you so much for the package that was some pretty good jam right there!!! It was so good with that white bread!! I shared it with some of my Samoan friends!! They are so cool!! One, elder Lokeni, used to live in American Samoa and is going to my same mission but he moved to Utah and lives in salt lake somewhere but he speaks fluent Samoan! The other, elder Penia doesn’t speak very good English but when he first got here he was almost expected to learn two languages, English and Tagalog!!! His mission is to the Philippines but he came here straight from Samoa to learn the language!!! Now he not only has to learn Tagalog but a little English here and there!! He is way cool and actually gave me an ea or lava-lava as a gift!! The Samoans are so generous and great!!! The last Samoan is the one who I am kind of closest to!!! His name is elder Lameta and he is so awesome!!! He loves my red hair and makes fun of it all the time which doesn’t bother me at all because I know he is kidding ha ha He is so great!! He is going to draw my name in my journal of elders as I like to call it where every elder I meet and get to know , signs their names with a message if they want!! It will be way sweet!! I love it though, talking to them really helps with the language!!
We are cruising now with all the language learning and stuff!!! We are learning so much I can barely handle it all!! It is so hard to learn a language and our stay is basically halfway over!!! I can’t believe it is week four already!!! It blows my mind!!! Time is flying and won’t stop soon I will be out in Samoan speaking the language ha ha!!! Like I said last week, the weeks are basically the same!! wake up, have personal study, go to breakfast, go to class or have mdt, go to gym if it is the right time, go to lunch, go back to class, go to dinner, go back to class, plan, then go to bed!! That is the basic outline of our day except Sunday, pday or when we have devotionals!!! Oh and we do service every Saturday where we clean a building by vacuuming or sweeping or wiping down mirrors and water fountains! I’m not complaining it is still a great experience. I just don't have as much new news or differences between the weeks ha!!!
Oh one thing that was way good is during personal study time they challenged us to have a study journal to write down impressions we get and thoughts that stuck out in our minds about what we are reading, so I took the challenge and bought a bigger journal than the ones you usually get and started to write in it!! Man was it amazing!! I couldn't believe what I learned and what came to me!! Just by rereading the title page and intro to the book of Mormon I wrote a two page insert in my journal with small handwriting as well!!! It blew me away what I learned and what the spirit taught me!!! I love it I want to do it every day now because even if it just a sentence it is a prompting or answer to a question you didn't know you had it was so cool!!!! I challenge all to do it because it will change the way you study!!! I love this gospel and the scriptures!!! They are so inspirational and a definite gift from God and Jesus Christ!!! I am so excited to serve!!
Oh a funny thing our whole district decided to go and sing in the choir for the devotional they had this Tuesday where Elder Snow from the seventy spoke!! it was actually way fun and they handed out these forms to fill out about singing experience and when you would be leaving whether it was after the 3rd or October or not which means......they are having an MTC men's choir for the Saturday Priesthood Conference!!! I filled one out and said how I have sang in church and other things and I guess we will see whether I go or not!! ha ha it would be cool though!!! Well not much else but I did get a haircut and it feels good!! They have a standard cut for every elder to get when you go in but I got it a little switched up so my scar doesn’t show ha ha!!!
I know this church is true!! I know that Jesus is the Christ and that he did atone for our sins!!! He is the way and the truth and the light!!! Joseph Smith was a true prophet and he did translate the book of Mormon which is a true and another testament of Jesus Christ!!! We watched the Joseph Smith movie again on Sunday and I feel the spirit every time I watch, testifying of the truthfulness of him being a prophet of God!! I love and miss all of you!!!
Love Elder Cody John Walker

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

MTC Week 3

Hello everyone!!! How is everything going!!! This week went by so fast and it kind of felt like the week before!! All the weeks are kind of meshing together now ha ha but I am still learning a ton!!! I love it here!!! From last Thursday we had some way cool things told us not only in the devotionals and firesides but also on Sunday with a talk from our branch president (I hope that sentence made sense)! Oh that’s who I forgot to tell you about!! Our branch presidency is President Connors, President Muir, and President Adamson!!! They are all such way cool guys I love em to death!! President Adamson whenever I see him or anyone else in our branch he has to hug them and tells them that he loves em!! It is so awesome!!! But anyway President Connors spoke this past Sunday and in it he told how he was a convert and that when he was about 18 he started to investigate the church. He hadn't moved out yet but his friend who he grew up with gave him a book of Mormon to read when President Connors asked him a question on religion and some questions he was having. His mom walked in on him one day and asked what he was reading and he said "the book of Mormon" and she replied ummm; no you’re not and took it away!! He went back to his friend and he gave him another one and the same situation happened where his mom took it away and didn't give it back!!! This continued through about 19 or so books of Mormon, but he finally finished!! He went in and told his parents he was getting baptized his mom who is usually really loving and calm was cleaning plates by hand and she chucked it across the room at his head!!! She and his dad both said if he did then he would have to move out!!! The day of his baptism he went in dressed up and they told him if he got baptized that afterward if he would forget it all they would let him stay! Of course he said he wouldn't do that so they said well your clothes will be waiting for you on the porch!!! He still went and when he came back he walked inside fully expecting to have to go and pack himself but they were sitting there waiting for him and they asked if he really had been baptized and he said yes and they sat there and finally his dad said well the ox is in the mire I guess you can stay!!! It was an amazing story and I couldn't believe how that could happen but it does and it blows my mind!!!!
So ya our devotional speaker this week was Elder Richard G. Hinckley! It was a way cool devotional and he talked on the 9 ways a missionary can have a successful mission! It was really good to hear and see what I can improve on! I am so grateful for the opportunities to listen to these inspired people!!! We are definitely lucky to be in Utah and just down the road so they don't have to travel far to talk to us!! On Sunday for the weekly fireside we had the missionary coordinating president who oversees all the technicalities and other stuff so the mtc can run smoothly and he gave a talk on keeping focused and a lot of other good things!!!
So the language is coming along just great!!! I love it. I have the purpose memorized in Samoan and I am reading the book of Mormon or TAM in Samoan out loud so I can get talking smoothly!!! We now have a set schedule and our teachers are really great!!! We kid back and forth but also are focused and go to work!!! This week in trc which is where we do a mock proselyting situation and teach, we are supposed to meet someone and "travel" with them to church and talk about commitments all in Samoan for 15 minutes!!! It’s insane but way fun!! Then we will teach lesson two the plan of salvation for the first time!!! It will be something new!! Well like I said we are basically doing the same thing every week!! We have class almost all day and mdt a lot because the teachers can only have 20 hours a week with us while full time in school!! MDT is missionary directed time where you either do language study, lesson study, or personal and companion study!! It is good to have so I can prepare to teach with my companion and gain a better knowledge of what I need to teach and of the scriptures!!!
I am so excited to be here!! I am doing great I got a little runny nose and a small cough but I should be over it in a jiffy!! I love all of you and miss ya but I love being on my mission!!! We had the Fijians in our district leave last Saturday and we have gotten some new Fijians and today we had some new English speaking elders come in!! I know this church is true!!! I know Jesus is the Christ and that he atoned for our sins and that only through him we can return and live with our Heavenly Father again!!! Joseph Smith is a true prophet and he translated the book of Mormon!!! It is the word of God and it is true!!! President Monson is a true prophet!!! I love all of you and keep strong!!
Love Elder Cody John Walker