Monday, November 29, 2010

TEMPLE AND TRANSFERS!!

TEMPLE AND TRANSFERS!!! Nov. 29, 2010

Talofa!!!! Malo Soifua!!!! I heard about byu losing. That stinks really bad but I guess it was a good game anyway!!! Utah got lucky, but I am here and don't care too much ha ha!!! What else is new how is everyone doing?? Hopefully all is still good and going great!! How is the snow and the cold weather?? I won’t have that for two years ha ha!!!
It has been an extra crazy week for me!!! to start off on Monday for pday we drove around basically the whole island!! it was cool and sweet to see all the different places and the other parts of the island of Upolu!!! we went all the way to where the tsunami happened and saw all of that and it was interesting and sad to see the damage!! Apparently elder Miller lost everything and he had only been on the mission for about three weeks and then had to start all over with all his stuff!!! That would stink really bad that’s all I can say!!! Anyway so after that whole trip we were headed home when all of the sudden Miller got a call and found out he was being transferred to American Samoa the next day and the elder there was coming to be my follow up trainer!!! It was so surprising and very last minute!!! We were going to the temple the next day so he had to pack that night and have all his stuff ready to leave the next day!!! We had a cool family home evening that night with the sisters in Lotopa by the way and it was game night so that was fun ha ha!!! But anyways we all moekasi that night (slept together) and then left the next morning by eight to get to the temple by nine!!! The temple is so beautiful and amazing here in Samoa!!!!! I didn’t understand a lot of what was being said besides remembering what would be said in English!!!! it was so cool though!!! it is so....just amazing!!! Then came the time for the switch after a dentist appt for new elders and other things!!!! My new soa(companion) is Elder Davidson!!! He is also from utah but was originally born in Tutuila and lived there for only two years, so he doesn't remember anything!!! He is way cool and is helping me a lot with language already!! It took awhile to get used to the switch and how he is. We had some disagreements, but we talked it over and now all is cool!!! We have been way busy this week so it is just so crazy!!! We only made it to three of the fafagas this week and we felt bad, but my comp had all these meetings and so many other things since he was new!!!
One of the days, I went on a transfer with elder Vili in our zone in Lepale and we walked and rode bikes so that was good!!! I haven't changed weight wise which is surprising since I am riding in a car the whole time!!! On Thursday we had our zone meeting and then we did a zone blitz which is where all of our zone went around Lotopa, the sisters’ area, and found people to invite to the fireside that was that Saturday!!! It was really fun and way cool to do!!! They are really pushing for firesides!!! It helps get the members and the investigators in the same place so it is actually a way good thing to have!!! Then we all ate at the bishops who owns McDonalds or manages it I mean. He got us all double quarter pounder meals, which was super nice!!! We have moekasi almost every night and finally slept in Aleisa on Saturday night!!! It’s been fun but tiring as well with all these things to do!!! My comp did some more interviews for sisters on Friday in Siusega and I was able to baptize the two young guys on Saturday!!! It was fun and always a blessing!!! Then came Saturday night the fireside!!! It was so prepared for and announced to everyone we found but the sad thing is only one investigator showed up!!!! What a bummer, we did all this preparing and all we could, but one is better than none!!! If that one gets baptized and felt the spirit at that fireside than it was all worth it right!!!!
Anyway the next day was aso sapati (Sunday, the Sabbath) and we went to Leauva'a again!!! Then we went to Mariana’s house for our fafaga and had an awesome one by the way!!! It was a crazy week and we didn't do much in Aleisa but we got things settled and now can begin to work and get stuff going again!! Anyway that was a lot of stuff that happened and now my soa is getting used to the roads and we are accomplishing a lot and he is getting familiar with the area, so all is good!!! I love you all!! I know this church is true and that Jesus is the Christ!!! I know that we have a true and living prophet on the earth today!!! mom thanks for the ensign!!! the conference talks are great. The ones to Samoa are on backorder so I am the only one with an issue!!! keep strong and keep me updated!!! you guys are the best!!! ou te alofa ia te outou!!!! (I love you).
Alofa Elder Cody John Walker

Malo Soifua!!

MALO SOIFUA!! (Congratulations on living!! -- a common Samoan greeting.) 11/22/10


Malo soifua!! Manuia outou? Hopefully all is good and well there!!! So it’s a boy for Bryan and Jesenia eh!?!? I knew it ha ha I guessed it right but I really only had a 50/50 chance right? No I’m joking but really that is so awesome!!! Oh and baby Alyssa is so cute too thanks for the pix they were great!!! It sounds like all is good with that!!! I am so excited to see these new babies!! It is so great!!! What’s new out there?? Anything else that I haven't heard of yet ha ha!! Thanks for the letters and emails they are great!!! So anyway this past week we have been pretty busy!!! We baptized Manoa on Saturday and it was so amazing!!! She is such a wonderful person and progressed very fast to be ready to be baptized!!! A family member of the family she is living with baptized her and my comp and I stood in for the confirmation on Sunday!!! It was great and she was so happy!!! It was just an all around great experience!!! Oh and it is so frustrating though, we cannot find Joanne for the life of us!!! Ever since that email I sent talking about her we have tried to visit at least twenty or so times with no success we have not heard of her or anything it is like she disappeared!!! It’s frustrating but we are praying and hoping to find her soon!!
Also we have had two other experiences which are very surprising for me but common I guess!! Two girls we are teaching, Apaula and Mataiva, live with two separate families but for some reason or another they did something to anger the family they are living with and the families kicked them out to some other family near town for both of them!!! We went and talked to the family that was housing Mataiva and they said that she didn't finish making the koko Samoa so they told her to find another place to live!!! My comp got frustrated and said if we would have known we would have bought a ton of koko and brought it to her just so we could keep in contact with mataiva!!!! She was progressing but now is gone until we can find her or if she comes back!!! We are just hoping that we can get talking with the families and somehow let them come back!!! It surprised me to hear it but my comp says it happens more than I know!!! A big downside is both are member families and they can't seem to understand the importance of what we are doing in helping them come unto Christ and be baptized in His name and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost!!! Anyways that was the downside of the week with the upside being Manoa's baptism!!!! I love being here in Samoa and most of the people are great but sometimes they can be stubborn and not helpful at all!!! We had pday at Mariana’s house with one other zone and they fed us and we played volipolo (volleyball) and it was a lot of fun!!!
Oh a great thing that the mission has given us and has worked pretty well is the movie the Restoration in Samoan!!! We have shown it three times and each time the spirit has been super strong and has touched the hearts of the people watching it!!! One such example is Renata and a girl that works at her house Lani. Renata's husband is a member, but is inactive(happens all the time) and we gave her a blessing and she said she wanted to be baptized but she has to take the lessons and be married first so we are working on that right now!! Her marriage is planned sometime around New Years!!! But the other girl her age about 20 or so and Lani watched the movie as well and loved it. She was crying halfway through especially at the first vision part!!! It was so great and we bore our testimony and said we would come back and teach more and she said yes!!! It is so great and the spirit can help so much!!! I love being here and sharing the gospel with the people here!!! They are so humble and give us all they can at our fafaga's!!! Here is a little about the food we have eaten pig, cow, chicken(all the time), a potato like food called talo, soup, fish( I actually enjoy eating it, except the raw stuff I will have to get used to), rice, fried chicken, sausage, eggs, canned spaghetti, toast, and so much more ha ha!!! I have pictures I will send soon!!! Anyway I know this church is true and that it is led by a prophet of God, President Thomas S. Monson!! I know that Jesus is the Christ and He atoned for our sins!!! I know Joseph Smith restored the church to its fullness and that he is a prophet of God!!! I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God!!! I love serving a mission it is so great!!! I love you all!!! Ou te alofa ia te outou!!!!!! Keep strong!!!!
Alofa Elder Cody John Walker

Friday, November 19, 2010

FLU VIRUS AND DOG ATTACK

FLU VIRUS AND DOG ATTACK Nov. 15, 2010

Talofa Lava ma Malo Soifua!!! What's up everybody?? Is everything still doing great? I sure hope so!! How’s baby Alyssa doing?? I’m glad everything worked out with the surgery and all with Rachael!! So what’s the news with the baby, Bryan and Jesenia?!? I am excited to hear!! Looks like I am going to miss Thanksgiving just like everyone else out of the US ha ha! I just realized that when I asked my comp and he said they have no need for the holiday since it all happened in America, I felt kind of dumb for a little bit!! My comp and two others from my mtc district will celebrate it though in American Samoa lucky them!!
Anyway this week, some surprising things happened!! But first on Tuesday we had a full day of appointments and back up plans with no going into town for once!!! It was so great, we just planned all these people and went and visited them it was great!! One of them was Manoa and she is still doing great and is excited to be baptized!!! We also started lessons with two other girls in a house in Aleisa first ward and a kid who lives there is sitting in because he wants to see how the lessons are taught because he is planning to serve a mission as well!! It is a really cool family and the two girls asked a lot of questions which my comp was able to answer. It still frustrates me not being able to hear and understand what people are saying fully, I get the jest of it sometimes but the people for the most part ignore me and what I try to say and listen more intently to my comp. But as long as I keep trying I will get there!! Anyways it was a great lesson and one of the girls and the boy took notes and wrote down a lot of facts!! It was very interesting to see that, but was really good!!! There is also another girl, Mativa, who we have taught the first lesson who is progressing very well and acts interested and wants us to keep coming. It just is hard to teach sometimes because she is very quiet as long as the lady of the house where we teach her is there. She is a member, but I think she intimidates her because when she left for a couple of minutes, Mataiva opened up and started asking questions and we got to know her more!! For the most part we like having members, but in Samoa the way the culture is and who is in charge, the people are sometimes scared into being baptized, which isn't the right way, so when we can speak just to the investigator and come to know them, it is even better!! For the most part though it works that the investigator does want to be baptized and everyone is happy which is great!!! A really great thing that happened on Saturday is Elder Teaupa and Elder Asuafi had some baptisms that afternoon, so we went and talked to Mataiva and she said she wanted to come and also another of the two girls there, who both live really close!! They are all not members and it was great because they all came and loved the baptism and said they felt really good!!! I love being on the mission and seeing how the spirit works on people and how they come to know of the truth for themselves!!!
Now for the two surprising things!! First was on Thursday, we were tracting and we walked towards someone’s house which we had been to before and nothing had happened, but as we stopped right at the door, out of nowhere a dog came and started attacking me!!!! It bit my left leg above the knee, luckily didn't catch any skin, and then bit my knee full on and sunk its tooth into my leg a little right below the knee!!!!! Instantly I grabbed its head somehow after that and just squeezed as hard as I could and the owner came and grabbed it apologizing again and again for what had happened!!! I just stood there surprised and amazed at what just happened!!!! It was crazy!! My adrenaline was going so fast I didn't really feel much pain but knew I was bleeding a little!! We finished the visit and continued on, I looked at my knee where the dog had bit it and we did two more visits, then I cleaned it and now it’s all good but it was something else!!! Dogs really do not like missionaries ha ha!!! Then came Friday night!! There apparently was a flu virus of some sort going around and I happened to catch it!! I had a splitting headache all night with fever and chills and slept I think like 4 or 5 hours that night!!! It was crazy I could barely stand I was shivering so bad!! But after that and getting to travel and sleep a little during the next day I was good by Sunday!!! Just a day fever and temp of 100.5 or so and I am just grand now!!! It was so nuts!!! Now everything is good and Sunday was great except for some reason if the water isn't working at the chapel, there is only sacrament meeting and nothing else!! So that is what happened and then we went to the rest of a different ward!!!
I love being on a mission the experiences are great and I will remember them forever!!! I love you all!! I know this church is true!!! We are having people ask for Book of Mormons!!! It’s so great!!! I know that Jesus is the Christ!!! I know He atoned for all of our sins!!! Ou te alofa ia te outou!!! Keep strong!!
Love ya, Cody

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mission Conference!

Malo Soifua!!!! O a mai outou??? How is everyone doing?? Hopefully all is well and great with everything!!! I read the email really quickly and saw some news in there!! Thank goodness for a win for BYU finally. Hopefully we can play well against Utah ha ha!!! Anyways this week was another week of riding around and picking people up and doing errands!!! We got two new elders one from Savaii, elder Vili, and one from Tutuila, they are going to go into an area Lepale and do what they can for a time!!! President Haleck wants them to get twelve new baptisms done in the area and then he is going to close it again because the work is so small it is will be covered by the Faleasi'u elders who are elder Teaupa and his new comp elder Asuafi!! Elder Hayden was sent to Savaii for the first time in his mission and elder Teaupa is training again once more before the end of his mission!!! So now with Hayden gone it is only elder Miller and I who are palagi's in our zone ha ha!!! Oh well its cool!! The Samoan people are so great!!!
On Monday we had a fhe at a member's house-- Mariana and her whole family or relatives live like right next to her. It is a huge family and is its own little community!!! It was way fun and there were a lot of great messages and fun things happening!! They had dances and I videotaped some of them on my camera so that should be cool for you to see!!! Then elder miller and I did a little skit with doing a little mind trick and they all liked it a lot ha ha it was way fun!! In that family a girl just moved in, her name is Manoa and she is not a member. She has been going to church and everything but has never been taught!! So we started teaching her the lessons and Mariana has been to almost every single one to support and give input so that is always good!! Plus just yesterday we asked Manoa if she could prepare to be baptized on the 20 of November and she accepted!!!! She has been really receptive to the lessons and is keeping the commitments and is learning so fast!!! She wants to be baptized and that is so great!! She was definitely ready to hear the gospel!! Also another great thing is we were at the fhe and were called afterwards to go give a blessing to an investigator Renata. When we got there we explained what a priesthood blessing was and then my comp gave her the blessing!!! Right after she said I want to be baptized!!! It was amazing and during the blessing a nonmember friend was crying so I think we will be able to teach her too!!! The Lord moves and acts in ways we can’t even imagine!!! The spirit was so strong and she was so ready, she just needed another witness or proof!!! First we need to get her married to her husband who has been baptized but is less active, then we can baptize her!!! It is so great I love being here!!
We had our first mission conference and President Haleck came and taught us in Aleisa!! There were three zones in attendance and we had three classes we went to, one taught by my comp and elder teaupa!! So ya and we also had interviews with President Haleck and were taught by the aps and were reminded of our goal for the year!! It has been a learning week that’s for sure, lots of things taught!! Also on Sunday we had stake conference for Aleisa and President and Sister Haleck came and taught there as well!!! It is still hard for me to understand almost all of it, but I am trying my best!!! I had the great opportunity again on Saturday to do some baptisms for the sisters!! 6 total together it was a great experience!!! The people were so happy and one older guy was crying and so excited to be having this happen to him!! The change brought in people’s lives is something else when it is witnessed firsthand!!! I love being on a mission!!! I want to do the best I can!!! The language is coming and I am learning each day more and more things!!! It is so great and a testimony builder for me and the people I try to communicate and teach with!! My comp is a great helper and we are doing the best we can in the big area we have!!! All is still going well!!! I need to get exercising and walking though the car is making me fat no ha ha but really!!! I know this church is true with all my heart!!! It was restored by a true prophet Joseph Smith in its fullness!!! I know that Joseph Smith translated the book of Mormon and that it is another testament of Jesus Christ!! Jesus is our savior and redeemer and through Him and His atonement we can live together forever!!! I know President Monson is a true prophet today and leads and guides the church!!! I love you all!!! ou te alofa ia te outou!!! thanks for all the support and love!!! keep strong!!!
Alofa Elder Cody John Walker

Monday, November 1, 2010

First Baptisms and My House in Samoa









MY FIRST REAL INVESTIGATOR

Malo Soifua!!!!! How is everyone this week? Anything new yet? Any new news? Have Jason and Rachael named the baby yet??? ha ha jk but really! When will I know whether it’s a boy or girl for Bryan and Jesenia?!? What is up with the house now anything new?? Keep me posted as much as possible the wait for mail is about two weeks I think or something like that!
But ya so this week has been another busy one but not necessarily all with teaching but running errands with the car!! On Thursday we just ran around for the office and for other things which are important, but I wish it wasn’t like that, but with my comp being the zl and having the car we are over our whole zone and stuff!! so ya sometimes it will happen but we just have to do the best we can with the time we have!!
So on Tuesday it was a great day!!! We were out visiting and finding referrals in the morning and then in the afternoon we stopped by a house that the ward mission leader had shown to us earlier!! it was a mother of two kids, Joane is her name, and her husband works all the time during the day! Anyway we were over there and she was excited to have us come (which is always a good sign)!!! We were talking to her about her concerns which she had many but we were answering them the best we could!! Some were just little things like why does the bishop bear his testimony of the truthfulness of our church and that it is the only true church on the earth today (that really made her mad) and others like people talking in church and having stake dances in the gym!! We answered to the best of our ability and she understood but she was just having problems with all the noise and how she thought we were disrespecting the church building with the dances. Oh and she thought that every church is true!! it is good because she wanted to speak english, I forgot that fact, and so I could understand and I could participate actually ha ha!!! So anyways we discussed all of it and just mentioned that there is such a place where it is perfectly quiet and you can talk directly to the Lord and not be interrupted!! Of course she liked that fact and wondered where such a place was and we said the temple and said that could be a goal for her and she kind of smiled and was liking that idea!! Also she mentioned that she has been having problems with her husband ( they aren't married though) and getting along, he drinks a lot and doesn't treat her the way women should be treated and she runs away sometimes but always comes back. So we tried to teach her about forgiveness and turning the other cheek!! Of course it is really hard to do that, but she even asked if she should just leave for good and we said she needed to pray and find out for herself!! The best thing she said though is she noticed that when hard times come and she is beginning to wonder if God exists and loves her, the missionaries come!!! Anyway it was a really good lesson and one that I could actually participate and help resolve certain issues!!! it was my first real story so I wanted to tell it!!
But for the rest of the week during certain parts of the day when we are at our house we have been getting the area book taken care of as best as possible so that we can get it going good again. Which has been good!! Also we have found many referrals and been finding out a lot of people are actually just waiting for us to come again so they can get baptized and find out the truth. We are trying our hardest!!! So anyway that’s the update for this week. I will answer questions in the next week’s letter!!! I know this church is true and that it truly is led by a living prophet!!! I know that Jesus is the Christ!!! I love Him for His infinite and loving sacrifice!!! without it we would not be able to return to our Heavenly Father!! I am so glad I am on a mission and can share this message with others!!! I love you all!!! Have another good week and be safe!!! keep me posted!! keep strong!!!
Alofa Elder Cody John Walker