Monday, December 19, 2011

Leaving Savaii

Transfer to Upolu--Hard to say goodbye to all in Savaii

Dear Family,                                                                      Dec. 4, 2011

Well, this officially starts me writing weekly, as there is no email anymore.  I hope all is well and everyone is doing great. I am in a new area, with new responsibilities and more to learn.  It was unexpected and a bit of a shock to me.  This week has been a crazy one and a lot has changed since last week.  First off, I said good-bye to all the elders heading home from Savaii. That was sad to say goodbye, but I will get to see them again.

On Tuesday, we had planned a meeting with Bishop Tuifelasi and also the ward mission leader, Lemi. That was excellent to have and Bishop appreciated us setting it up and we reviewed the work from that month.  Left from there, clear up to visit a man named Tua. He is a member of the Aso Fitu (Seventh day Adventists). At first he didn’t come and we got to talk to his dad.  He was just asking questions to test our knowledge about different subjects. It was sad as Tua really wanted to hear what we had to say about the gospel and kept trying to refer back to the pamphlet on the Restoration we had given him, wanting to know more about it. We tried, but as I would start, the dad would again question us and begin to explain more about his church. I do not like Bible bashing at all, as I am not perfect in my understanding there, and it is not our purpose. We challenged them to read the Book of Mormon, and then pray to know if it is true.

At our fafaga was when I got a call to tell me I was being transferred to Apia, Alafua.  My new companion is Elder Nielsen. Since I have been here, I have felt reassurance and love from the Lord that this is where He wants me right now and that he will help me to do whatever I am asked to do.  I know the Lord will help and bless me.

So the next day, I said goodbye to the people in the area, especially the Lano First Ward. Also said goodbye to Malo and Moe, which was really good.  A cool thing is that we saw Kiki on the road and got to say goodbye to her and give her some words of encouragement.

Then went to Manua Milo’s to say goodbye to Vesi and that family, and they were so good; feeding us, and also giving us money as a present, which was too much and not needed, but so very nice of them.  On the way back, we said goodbye to Minoi and he also gave me money!  I love these people and not because of the money but because of their love and patience and kindness towards me.  Then the next morning, I said good bye to Ta’ala Meki and his family before being picked up.

Thursday was a big day. The day I left Savaii!  Man I miss that place and hope to go back there in the near future. I went to the wharf and took pictures with a bunch of the elders there. I am not sure I will see them again before they get released.  Then we headed out to Upolu. Back to Upolu!  My companion, Elder Nielsen is from Utah, but his family moved to Oregon while he was on his mission. His Grandpa was actually a mission president in Samoa—Pres. Broomhead!  Kind of a cool thing.  After running some errands, I went to get my license.  Yes, I am now in a car, and also drive.  I really had gotten kind of skinny in Savaii with all the walking,  I weigh 40 lbs. less than when I first got here. (I did put on 20 in the MTC).  Now I am in Alofua and we cover a palagi ward (English speaking) and a Samoan ward. This month is our month to eat our meals with the palagi ward.  Not good!!  Let me explain.  I love it, but it is not a good combination to eat so well and then drive instead of walk.   Our first fafaga was with the ward mission leader, and they made buttered chicken, dippers, salad, and chocolate cake. Way different than Savaii where we ate talo, pig, chicken and other random stuff. The families here have much more in material things, they all have computers, TVs, Wii, and all those other things. So different from Savaii.  It is a shock to be speaking English to them instead of Samoan.  The next day, we ate at an Italian restaurant and had lasagna and cheesecake.  Oh man, so bad!  All that American food is not doing so well with my stomach.

Where I live in Upolu is with a family. They are great people and I already love them! They are so respectful and loving to the missionaries.  I feel blessed to be here, as I can improve my Samoan by speaking with them.

Now to my new area.  First off, it is super busy.  We had a lesson with a lady named Lise on Thursday and she got baptized on Saturday the 3rd of Dec. It was awesome. I gave the spiritual thought at the baptismal service . Kind of nervous with all new people, but I did just fine. Lise bore her testimony, which was so sweet and special as she has been taking the lessons for quite a while, then finally accepted and now baptism was right for her. Vesi was baptized in Savaii and it was hard to miss that, but glad to be a part of Lise’s baptism.

I know this church is true and is led by a living prophet, Pres. Thomas S. Monson. I know Pres. Monson and his counselors and the twelve apostles are prophet, seers, and revelators. They hold all the keys of the priesthood to lead and guide this church. The Prophet Joseph Smith did restore this church through the power and authority of God.  He did see God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.  I know God lives and loves each and every one of us. I now Jesus is the Christ. He is the head of this church and our Savior and Redeemer.  He loves us as well and sacrificed Himself for us so that we can repent.  That right there is such a wonderful gift, to become clean from sin.  I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and another testament of Jesus Christ.  It is true through and through.  No doubt there!  All can know it is true through the power of the Holy Ghost.  I love you all so much!  Thank you for all you do and all your love and prayers.  Ou te Alofa Tele ia te outou.  Remember keep strong. Christmas is coming up and I can’t wait to talk to you.  We could have a baptism on Christmas Eve!  Love you all!

Alofa Atu,
Elder Cody John walker

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

LAST WEEK TO EMAIL AND THEN THE WAIT FOR POST BEGINS

Talofa Lava!                                                                                                                                                                                                                  November 29, 2011

Hey everybody what is happening?!  Sad thing is this is the last time to email, but you will still get letters-- they will just take a couple or so weeks so no worries.  Hey!! I got the news Blake and Angela!!  That is so AWESOME!!  I can’t wait to hear you tell me on the phone call home whether it is a boy or a girl.  That’s so exciting I am happy for you guys.  I hope everyone is enjoying life and having a great time, but also being safe.  How was Thanksgiving?  Not much different here than any other day so ya I said Happy Thanksgiving but don't think you heard me ha ha!!  Hope it was great and full of thanks as that’s how I celebrated was thinking about and remembering all I am thankful for.  Winter is there for you guys and it is summer and the rainy season here. It has been raining for at least a good two weeks or more straight!!  Crazy stuff, but the Lord is blessing us for it to rain at nights and in the morning while we are studying, but then just cloud cover with very little rain during the day so we don't get soaked.  We are just so busy I am not going to lie, it is so much fun and so awesome!!  We, this week, will barely have anytime to proselyte and look for new investigators as we have people to contact, lessons to teach to investigators, and even..... Another Baptism!!!!  It is so exciting!!!  Way Cool!!

So to start off this email- the update is about Vesi, who we will be baptized this week.  She has been going to church for three weeks but hasn't been available and a returned missionary where she lives said she was still not ready to start lessons, but when we went over there again this week she agreed to let us teach her the first lesson and she loved it!   It was great and also the returned missionary named Taai is a great help, reading with her from the Book of Mormon and reviewing lessons with her.  We taught her the first lesson on Tuesday and when we went back the next day to teach the second lesson on the Plan of Salvation and checked up on whether she had read and prayed about the Book of Mormon and the lesson and she said she had and knew it was true!!  At the end of the second lesson we committed her to baptism for this Saturday as she has been plenty of times to church and is way ready and progressing steadily.  Another good thing was on Saturday when we went to teach the third lesson; Taai was there and helped out a lot with the teaching.  My comp is getting better with his Samoan as he just keeps trying and studying a lot.  He taught about Faith in the third lesson and did pretty good.  He said he was nervous but he is getting better every day. Anyway we recommitted her to baptism and she said she was happy and excited for it that next week.  She is golden and as always we are grateful for the opportunity to teach her and help her enter into the gate and begin to walk on the path to eternal life.  It has been a great week!!

Also some other good news is we are planning to commit two other people to baptism this week.  One, Tiresa Matafeo, has been going to church off and on but the dad of her husband has been resistant to letting us begin teaching.  He is a High Councilman so we worked through that and should start lessons on Tuesday and hopefully commit her to baptism next week.  Also we met a really neat guy in Puapua, Misi Uepa, who is partially blind and is living with his uncle there since he doesn't want to live with his dad who I guess isn't being the nicest guy to him right now.  Sad story, but we did meet with him and shared a quick lesson on Saturday.  He went to church the next day so we will work with him as well this week.  He just wants to know his purpose in life as others are trying to make him think he is worthless, but no one is ever worthless in the sight of God.  We testified of that and let him know God loves him and wants to talk to him through prayer.  He seemed pretty happy and will hopefully let us in and teach him and help him feel more like a true child of God.

We finished up the fifth lesson with Talaave this week and she is set to go to the temple a year from now in November.  It was good to hear that, as that keeps them on the path and has a goal for them to shoot for. Also yesterday on Sunday we had a member, the President of Sunday School in Puapua named Tiasaga Minoi, re-teach the first lesson on the Restoration to her and it was so perfect as he bore testimony and offered his help to them in any troubles or questions and he can as he only lives right up the road from them so not far at all.  He was perfect and gave her advice on keeping their marriage strong and prepared always to go to the temple.  Awesome!!  We are setting up with other members this week to reteach other lessons to her so that will be good and she will make friends as well.

We are going back to Lano to teach Kiki and Ruta together again and are just praying and hoping they have been reading and praying from the Book of Mormon to know whether it is true.  If they gain that, they will accept everything else about this church and that it’s true. That should be good and exciting.

Well that’s the update for this week.  I need to get going, but no more emails.  So the next update will be a letter like I said.  First though I want to Thank you all so so very much for all the emails, love, support, letters, and everything else, Especially Prayers because I feel them and they strengthen me every day!!  You all are the best Family a missionary can have and also the best Friends!!!  All great and amazing examples to me.  Thank you thank you thank you!!  Faafetai tele lave naua mo mea uma.  I know this Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is the only living and true church on the Earth today.  I know that it is led by a living prophet, President Thomas S. Monson who holds all the keys to lead this church.  I know that Joseph Smith did see God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove and that Sacred First Vision started off this rock that was cut out of the mountain without hands and it IS filling the earth and no unhallowed hand will stop this work from progressing!! I know that Joseph did restore the church by the power of God, which is the Priesthood.  I know that Jesus is the Christ, our Savior and Redeemer and the head of this Church.  He did atone for all of our sins so that we can become clean and eventually return to live with our Father in Heaven and Him in the Celestial Kingdom.  I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father.  I know the Book of Mormon is true and another Testament of Jesus Christ and that we can know it is true by reading it, praying sincerely with faith and it will be manifested unto us by the power of the Holy Ghost. I love you all sooo much!!  Ou te Alofa Tele iate Outou uma.  Thanks so much for everything!!  Hope I didn’t forgot anything or anyone, but you will still get letters.  Keep Strong!!  That is still the goal and motto.  Also Remember Jesus Lives, He is the Christ and His Grace is Sufficient.  Thanks again for everything.  Temples are the goal and the way to eternal life.  I am so grateful our family will be together forever!!  We will Be Together Forever Someday!!

Alofa atu,
Elder Cody John Walker

Saturday, November 26, 2011

MY COMPANIONS FIRST BAPTISM!!

                                                                                                              November 21, 2011

Hey everybody!!   What’s happening?  Anything new going on?  Hey all of you over there in America and any others from the USA, Happy Thanksgiving!!!  I hope it is a great day, full of thanks for everything and also a huge ol' feast.  Here not so much, unless our fafaga has lived in America before ha ha!!  But all will be good, maybe we will bake a cake in our random oven in our house we somehow got to work.  That should be interesting.

This week was Amazing!!!!  We had such a great day on Saturday and I have to say the hand of the Lord is in this work as everything worked out as planned, nothing wrong and just as smooth as it could have been.  On Saturday morning we had the wedding at 10 for Talaave and her husband Talosaga and the stake president was so good and was ready right on time and we went in and he got started right away and then performed the wedding and the cost was only 20 tala that I just paid for them.  Then after grabbing a bite to eat we went back to Puapua and Elder Asaasa who is our zone leader with Elder Paulo, did the interview and he said she was good and prepared to be baptized.  A little while later Asaasa and Paulo dropped us off in Lano so we could teach/talk to Kiki and Ruta and invite them to the baptism that was happening in an hour (I will write about that visit later).  Anyway after dropping us off they went and picked up Talaave and Talosaga again, along with Talosaga's mom and little brother who wanted to attend the baptism. They were really great that day to cancel all their appointments and help us the whole day to accomplish the wedding and baptism that day, I was really grateful for all of that.  The baptismal service went awesome and my comp was nervous but way excited and happy!!  Also what is great is that in a year their goal is to go to the temple and be sealed for time and all eternity and they asked if I was going to be able to go, but sadly no I will not be able to.  It was a great day and ended the week great!!

Now for the visit with Kiki and Ruta. We got there and I started talking to Ruta as Kiki was coming back from buying something and we invited them to the baptism that was in Lano, but they said they couldn't go unless I talked to Kiki's dad who wasn't available.  So ya we didn't want her to get into trouble so then we sat down and had a lesson with them.  We read 1 Nephi 3:7 and told her that God has a path prepared for her to be baptized.  We just need to work together and have faith and go forward knowing it may not be easy but it is according to the will of the Lord who loves all of us and wants what is best.  Then I talked to Ruta and asked her some questions and she eventually explained to us she doesn’t think it necessary to be baptized again as she already was by her church and that she did believe that this church was true but also all others are.  I then explained the great apostasy and how the priesthood was taken away and had to be restored and that in reality this is the only church in the world who works through that power and other churches and their preachers really do not hold that priesthood power.  She accepted that a little but then I asked how her reading of the Book of Mormon was coming and she said she hadn't been reading or praying about it.  I then just simply said if she really wanted to know the truth about this church, Joseph Smith and other things she has questions about, it is all based on whether that book is true and I quoted again the introduction which says that.  They told me that since they are busy this next week with a wedding and the next time they will have an opportunity to talk is the first Saturday of December, they would both read.  Kiki continuing as she has, and pray about it and we would check up when we go back.   Hopefully she does it, she seemed pretty interested in my claim that the truth of everything bases off of whether the Book of Mormon is true. Pray for them!!

So for this next week we are working on getting members to reteach the first four lessons to Talaave and try to get the ward more involved with missionary work in Puapua.  It should be good and is something we gained too from the Preach My Gospel DVDs, so that is helping us out in getting more ideas on finding and also is helping us improve other parts of our missionary work.  Also on Tuesday we had the Kroghs come over and hang new curtains for us, they are really funny and fun to be around, love them.  But ya, that is the update this week.  It was an awesome week!!  I loved it and could feel the spirit at the baptismal service so strong and Talaave was so happy!!  It was a great opportunity for my comp, I was so happy for my comp too, he was all smiles.  I know this church is true and this gospel we preach does change lives.  I know President Monson is the Lord's mouthpiece on the earth, His living prophet.  I know that he holds all the keys to lead this church.  I know Jesus is the Christ our Savior and Redeemer.  His Grace is Sufficient.  I love Him.  This is His work.  I am so grateful for this great opportunity to be a missionary of the Lord.  I know the Book of Mormon is true and the word of God.  I love you all!!   Ou te alofa tele ia te outou!!  Thanks for everything!!  You guys are the best!!  Happy Thanksgiving!!  Remember, Keep Strong!!

Alofa atu,
Elder Cody John Walker








Talosaga and Talaave

INTERVIEWS AND CONFERENCE

Malo le Soifua!!!                                                                                November 14, 2011

Hey what’s up everybody?! I hope all was great this past week, it was a grand week here and should be another one this week.

So this week we had interviews on Thursday and Zone Conference on Friday!!!  Both days were really good!!  I really enjoy and love having interviews with President Leota.  It is just a great time to not only see President which doesn't happen often over here in Savaii, but also just talk to him one on one and him just ask how the work is and how I am loving my mission.  He always knows exactly what to say and ask, so as to help him in receiving those inspired questions to ask and we start with a kneeling prayer every time!!  Great stuff and an awesome leader.  While President was doing interviews, the APs taught us some things and how to make correct our numbers.  Elder Rodgers is the new AP as well with his dad in the mission Elder Smithing who finishes next month.  Both really good guys and good leaders. Then the next day we had a Zone Conference with all of the Savaii zones together and it was so awesome and Spiritual.  It started at 9 that morning and went clear till 5 that night.  We had some breaks where we ate and stood up to stretch but all in all just great stuff one after another the whole entire time.  Oh ya and my comp gave the spiritual thought (mafaufauga faaleagaga) and did a great job in Samoan.  Sister Leota gave the first talk with President Leota following it up before lunch.  He gave us the three things we are going to focus on in this mission 1) I am a Child of God 2) I am a Disciple of Christ and 3) I will go where You want me to go, I will do what You want me to do, I will be what You want me to be.  He focused his teachings and thoughts around that. Then after lunch we had APs teach and we got some add-ins into our Preach My Gospel giving us ideas and thoughts on Companion Study, Language Study, and Becoming a Master Inviter.  After teaching they would have us practice and then we would come together and evaluate and sometimes practice again.  It was all really, really good and this is just a quick review of the whole thing, just touching on the important stuff.   One thing they really want us to do is to practice through role/real play. Taking an investigator and practicing how to extend a commitment or teach a principle, stuff like that.  Takes up the hour a lot faster and also is very helpful to get mess ups out of the way.  Then for the last part, President Leota got up and explained some changes that are being made to our mission and it is focusing on P-day!!  First off we will no longer be going to taulaga (town) 1) to do email or 2) make some purchases.  Only ZLs will do that the first Monday of each month.  So now we are only using the post.  It will be different but as he explained his thoughts and intents and goals to help improve the mission, it all made sense and if we all pray and work together it will be good.  So ya that’s a quick thing there of interviews and conference but it was all really great and I loved it.  President Leota is such a spiritual man and was called of God and set apart to lead this mission.

As for our area we had some ups and downs.  First with the ups! Talaave should be baptized this week!!  We are deciding on Friday or Saturday to perform both their (her and her husband, Talosaga) wedding, that being first of course, and then Talaave's baptism.  We are going to go and review all the lessons and answer any questions, but they are excited and ready to get this done finally.  They have been waiting to get married for quite a while it’s just been a bit of a problem with her family in Gataivai, but it’s all good now and it should be done this week.  Exciting for my comp, his first baptism and he will also be able to do it in the ocean.  I will have pix next week.  It should be a great and spiritual experience one not to forget for any of us.  As for the not so good news this week is that Kiki's parents right now are not going to allow her to be baptized.  We can finish teaching and keep visiting but we need to have faith and pray and you all too that their hearts will be softened and allow her to be baptized as she was way bummed and sad and wants to learn more and be baptized, but the parents said if she does, to look for another place to stay.  Never easy there.  We also met with and taught Ruta the last lesson but will go over more and help her out as she didn't go to church yesterday.  So anyway not so good news, but the other Ruta we found out is married to a member who is working right now in Apia and still goes to church and if she does decide to get baptized, she wants him back here first, so her choice.  Do all we can.  We found some others to visit this week so hopefully all that works out great and we keep the work growing and spreading.

That is the update and letter for this week.  Sorry not too much but time is quick and I’ve got to go.  Thank you all so much for everything.  All the support, emails, letters, love, prayers and so on.  I love you all so much!!  I know this church is true and that Jesus is at the Head of it.  I know that God is our Father in Heaven and He in fact knows and loves us more than we could ever understand.  I know that President Monson is His mouthpiece for us on the earth.  I know Joseph Smith restored the church and the priesthood to the earth.  I know he also translated the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God and that that book is another Testament of Jesus Christ and the word of God.  I love my Savior.  Jesus is the Christ.  His Grace is Sufficient.  Families can be together forever.  We Can Be Together Forever Someday!!  Temples are awesome.  I love you all!!  ou te alofa tele iate outou!!   Keep Strong!!

Alofa atu
Elder Cody John Walker

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

BETTER WEEK!!

BETTER WEEK!! Nov. 7, 2011


Talofa Lava!!!

Hey everyone!! How’s the week been? I hope all has been well and great. First off I need to apologize to Kendra. Sorry Kendra I forgot to wish you a Happy Birthday last week I am sooo sorry!! But here is a belated one. Manuia Lou Aso Fanau!! Happy Birthday and I hope it was great!! Next is Alyssa!! Manuia Foi Lou Aso Fanau!! Love you all so much!!! Keep up the good work at being the Best Family and Friends!! All awesome examples to me!!

This past week was probably one of our best weeks here. It was Amazing with some really great experiences. On Wednesday, we started off meeting Ruta and just giving a short quick lesson reviewing lesson one and giving a preview of lesson two. Ruta was taught lesson one with the two elders before us, and we are going to finish them up this week but the only problem is that she needs to get married first before she can get baptized. (as always). Well that seems easy enough to get a marriage set up except there is one holdback, a very big holdback, her husband has to get divorced legally first from his first wife. Now the charge in Samoa to get a divorce is 1000 tala! That is a very hefty price. Also the family of the first wife is being very difficult with helping pay that so we just need to have patience and pray and it will all work out in time. Just keep encouraging that it not to be procrastinated, but get it done. We taught her the second lesson on Friday and she really liked it and had some good questions too. It was also great to have the help of her mother in law too, there teaching with us.
The other investigator we have is Kiki. We had met her at the fafaga on Saturday and planned to teach her the first lesson on Wednesday and when we were about to start, another girl came named Ruta and wanted to hear what we had to say. That was cool and we accepted of course to teach her too!! The first lesson went really well and after giving them each a Book of Mormon and the lesson two book, they said they would read and be prepared for the lesson on Saturday. When we went on Saturday to teach them it was so cool to actually see they had read, especially Kiki!! In fact she had read and marked all the scriptures mentioned in the Lesson Two book on the Plan of Salvation in the Book of Mormon. Also they said they had prayed and felt a good feeling about what we had taught and were ready to hear more. Well we got to teaching right away on the second lesson and they liked it a lot, but said as most others do it’s a lot of new info that they haven’t heard before, but it sounds right that God would love us and have everything planned out so we could return to live with Him someday and become like Him too. Then came the question would they agree to attend church with us tomorrow and Ruta asked me back if it was our hope that she get baptized?! I couldn’t believe it and immediately said yes that was our hope from the very beginning. Kiki already knew that and after some thought and I knew the Spirit was working on her, she said she would go to church with us the next day. It was great!! So the next day we went to her house and walked with her and this girl named Joy who is a member and good friends with her. Then at church we taught the third lesson to Kiki and Ruta (the one who needs to get married, the other one didn't get to come to church---keep trying there!!) and Joy was also there for the lesson and helped out and shared her testimony. Lessons with a member are that much better just because of getting a friend for the investigators. After the lesson which was on the gospel we challenged Kiki to set the 19th for her to be baptized and at first she said she couldn't but as we talked and got some help too from Ruta and Joy she accepted and said she would work to the 19th!! It was amazing this is actually my comp and I's first investigator with a baptismal date and so we are pretty excited. We committed Ruta to stay strong and keep attending and doing all she can to be ready so whenever she does get married she can be baptized right after that. So that is the good news this week and it’s great!!

Next we taught or finished up in greater detail the first lesson with a guy named Tanielu. At first he showed no interest, then others came and as we started talking he got more interested in knowing that there is really only one way to return to God and that there truly is one baptism and one faith. It was good and he took the Book of Mormon saying he would read it and be ready for us on this Saturday when we meet again. So we will see what happens but the spark of interest can grow!! Oh also we talked to Misi the ward mission leader in Puapua and he said that Talaave, who Elders Mackey and Memea taught is going to be able to get married and baptized so we will meet her this week and check up and get it all set up.

That’s the wrap for this week. I love you all so much!!! Thanks for everything!!! All I can say is I love missionary life and work!!! It is truly more of a blessing than a sacrifice. I know this church is true. I know that Jesus Christ is the head of this Church as it bears His name for one. I love Him. He leads it through a living prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. I know that he, his counselors and the Quorum of the Twelve are prophets, seers and revelators. There is only One Church that is true and One Path to lead to God. He never changes. I love this gospel and have been so blessed. I know the Book of Mormon is true and is the word of God and another Testament of Jesus Christ. I love you all!! Ou te Alofa tele iate outou!! Keep Strong!! Remember too that His Grace is Sufficient.

Alofa atu,
Elder Cody John Walker

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

CRAZY WEEK!!

Talofa!!!                                                                                                                October 31, 2011


Hey everybody what’s happening? How’s life and work and all that fun winter weather? It is crazy not to see snow, but instead be sweating around this time of year. But its fun and I love it. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Oh ya and Happy Halloween!!! Hope it is filled with tons of candy and such. Maybe I will buy some chocolate today and eat it and then maybe get sick because I don't get it all the time ha ha!!
So this week we had a fun twist this past Tuesday! It was clear a little when we left that morning but as we were at the bishop of the Puapua ward’s house it started to pour like none other. Luckily the Bishop gave us a ride to Lano for our fafaga that night and we had hoped to get there a little early so it wasn’t too late to ask Vui, a counselor to the stake president, for a ride home so we wouldn’t get soaked!! But as we were sitting in with the family the dad didn’t really want us to leave early but wanted to talk so we ended up not leaving until seven to head down the road to ask the Vui for a ride. It was fun to talk to them don’t get me wrong but I felt bad because these other ward members aren’t talking too nice about them for keeping us late and that resulting in what happened. When we were heading back to Puapua we came to the ford and wow is all I can say. It was running so high and there was no way we were going to go through that. Not even buses were attempting it and they are big. The water was actually higher than the van we were in or to it equal for sure, and it would have swept us away if we had tried. So we went back and the Bishop in Lano, Bishop Tuifelasai, was cool and way nice and let us sleep over at his house for the night. He fed us and everything it was awesome. He made a place for us to sleep and gave us the mattresses they use and also covered the place where we slept with a mosquito net. All just for us, it was amazing!! A way cool family and so gracious. Yes, you can be assured we are being taken care of.

Friday was our best day with some really good visits. First we went over to talk with Taala Meki who lives next door and owns the store we go to. Cool thing is he doesn’t charge us for anything we get and won’t let us pay. It’s so cool and he is a really nice guy. Then we headed out going towards Asaga and Lano and were going to do some tracting and also make other visits. Well our plans fell through with two people, Malo and then Siivaa; so that left time to try and find others to teach and so anyone we saw on the road, we went over and talked to them. We talked to this tina (mom) for quite a while and ended up teaching the whole entire first lesson to her just while standing there and talking. It was really neat and she was interested to hear more. The other house we went to we also got a lesson but only because the rain trapped us in and she wouldn’t make us leave and walk in it ha ha!! We just talked about the meaning of the name of our church as Elder Ballard explained and she was listening, but then she, as a member of another church that has their service on Sunday, tried to test me and ask what day is right to worship on and ya so we shared some scriptures and she agreed but wasn’t really accepting that much. Oh well, plant the seed and move on.

On Saturday at our fafaga we also got a new potential investigator a girl named Kiki. We talked to her and this other girl named Nele the whole time while eating. The member who had prepared the meal, just stayed in the back and sent these two up to fan the flies and present the food and talk too. Nele has already received the lessons but the loomatua (elderly lady) won’t let her be baptized yet, mainly because of some other Samoan missionaries not working but just hanging out talking to her. A bonus for us is the loomatua, named Nele too, likes elders from out of Samoa, especially palagis. So we will see what comes out of it as our lesson with Kiki is on Wednesday. Nele doesn’t stay here but goes to school in Apia but said before we left she wants to be baptized and might in Apia if her grandma lets her. Earlier though we had visited this family, Malo and Moe and their kids but it was so awesome talking to Malo!! He told me his conversion story with some history of some stuff and it was great. A cool thing about that is they are planning to go to the temple around the 26th of November and Elder Beck who baptized them will get to go with them.

A lot of families are really cool and are giving us koko samoa to make at our house which is way legit!! I love koko Samoa and want to drink it all the time. Actually more legit than regular hot chocolate.

Anyway that is the update for this week. I hope all is good still and doing great. I love you all and miss ya but wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!! I know this church is true and the only true and living one on the earth today. It was restored in its fullness by the prophet Joseph Smith by the power of the Priesthood. I know that President Monson is the living prophet that leads and guides the church today. I know that Jesus is at the Head of this Church and He is the Christ. I love Him and am forever indebted to Him. His Grace is Sufficient. I know God lives and loves us. The Book of Mormon is true through and through. I love that book and get something new from it every time I read it. I am so grateful for it and for this church and for this great opportunity to serve and time is going by way to fast. I love you all!! Ou te Alofa tele ia te outou!! Keep Strong!! Thanks for everything!!

Alofa atu
Elder Cody John Walker

Saturday, October 29, 2011

NEW AREA, CONFERENCE & THE BOOK OF MORMON

Malo le Soifua Manuia!!                                                                            October 24, 2011
Hey what’s up everybody? What’s new? Hope and pray all is great!!! This week was pretty busy so I will get started!!

So first off we got transferred and all settled in...Right after cleaning of course!! The house was filthy!!! We spent the first two or three hours cleaning and making it available to breathe and make places to put our stuff. Now, as I have been in Samoa a year, I am used to dirty places and living but this was way worse than some fale o'o(s) that I have seen!! Anyway ya, so then we had the Savaii Conference with Elder Pearson of the Seventy. That was So Amazing!! So great and he didn’t beat around the bush but put it out straight for this mission and things he has been sent to say and teach. He started off by making it clear that they just don’t come out here with a desire to see the sites, but because one of the Twelve, President Packer to be exact for him, called him on assignment to come and designated keys given to him to come and teach us and tell us what needs to change and improve. I can’t even tell a little bit of how great it was!! He kept pushing us to become the missionary that can do miracles, starting with ourselves and becoming a true disciple of Christ!! His wife too was great getting us to make commitments and stuff, it was fun. President and Sister Leota were also there and spoke. All together it was about 6 hours long with great stuff. But ya that’s a quick wrap there.

We spent the other days getting masani (familiar) with our new area and the two wards we cover--Puapua and Lano. On Wednesday we went around in Puapua with the ward mission leader's younger brother Lua (the ward mission leader is Misi). He took us around and showed us members' houses, and then on Thursday we went around with Lemi the ward mission leader in Lano where he showed us houses of members in that ward also showing us the houses of our fafagas for this week. Both days were great and fun. Honestly, it was a lot of information so I don't remember a lot of their names but we will go around again just the two of us and see them again. They were quick visits the first time letting them all know our names and where we were from and then leaving. But a cool thing is a former elder, Elder Peck talked to me, asking us to contact a family in Lano that he baptized and getting them to get to the temple and good news they are planning on it!! The parent’s names are Malo and Moe and they are going to go this next month and Peck is going to go to!! But ya quick info there!!

Oh as the title says with the Book of Mormon, I finished it again on my mission. But this time as I read through it I marked and counted all the many different names of God and Jesus Christ in the entire Book of Mormon and it took me the whole 12 weeks of this training program and it has been an Amazing experience to see that truly is another Testament of Jesus Christ!! I have known that, but this has strengthened my testimony and I plan to share it with others too. Here is a quick review (and publish or mark me on it if I missed some but I am pretty confident I got them all) but the total number of different titles is 128 (this includes different titles/adjectives to describe God etc) and the total number count is a whopping 4152!! Just the title "God" was written 1344 times and "Lord" at 1337 times. "Christ was 319; "Father" 229; "Jesus" 116; "Jesus Christ" 51; and "Son" 44. That is a quick review but it was so cool and I loved doing it. My next goal is to put a box around all of the times the Holy Ghost and Spirit are mentioned. The Book of Mormon is true through and through. It is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. I love it and I can’t wait read it again!!
Well that is the wrap for this week. It was pretty busy, but fun. I love you all!! I know this church is true. I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that President Monson is the true prophet on the earth. I know the Book of Mormon is true. Thanks for everything!! Keep Strong!!! Ou te Alofa tele ia te Outou!!!

Alofa atu
Elder Cody John Walker

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

TRANSFERS!!

Talofa!!! Oct. 17, 2011

WOW WOW WOW!! A lot of news this week well not a lot, but BIG news this week!! But first off I want to wish my Dad a Happy Birthday!!! Dad, Manuia Lou Aso Fanau!!! 56?!??! Wow getting up there aren’t ya?! I hope it’s a great day Dad. I love ya and you are the best!! Thanks for everything you do!! You deserve an awesome day and I hope you had a great celebration last night. Do what you want for the day; take the pin back of “I’m The Boss” from mom, just for the day ha ha!! Love ya Dad!!

So now the big news...............WE GOT TRANSFERRED!!!!!!!!! Yep WE, not just me!! My comp, To’o-Fa’alogo and I are both being transferred together to Puapua in Savaii North Zone. So going from one side of the island to the other. Oh it was sad though. I did not want to leave Sili at all!! But as two elders, Touli and Memea, got their visas to go to Papua New Guinea, it left a decision for President Leota whether to close Puapua or Sili. Well since we haven’t had any baptisms and real work in Sili for three months now, he decided to move us to Puapua and have elders in Mosula cover Sili just being available in case any people choose to be baptized. We got the call on Saturday night at around 10:00 pm from Peck so all yesterday after church and this morning until 12:00 we have been saying goodbye and giving faamavae(s) (strengthening talk kind of thing), crying almost all the time and I didn’t like it. But the Lord has made the decision. We will go to Puapua not forgetting Sili and continue the work of the Lord over there. I am going to miss that area though. Especially the ward - Sili Muamua. We got fed really well by Bishop Mika as a last gift for us last night. We got our pix with everyone as well as their phone numbers to keep in touch. They were all sad and crying and I could barely think as I talked and said goodbye saying as much as I could, I already miss that area!! Malo, Moeai and his Family, Kalolo, Fiu Sakaio, and so many others. Merita and Tauola in Papa. I could go on but time to move on. It will be different whitewashing an area but trust in the Lord and go forward with faith.
This past week was a good week and the Lord blessed us to have the experiences we did before being transferred, Tender Mercies I know!! First starting on Wednesday we woke up early and went over to Fiu Sakaio’s house as we had planned to go with him to his ma’umauga that morning and help him out doing some work. He told us we would go at 6:00 in the morning, but as it turns out he was either joking or didn’t think we would really come. So we sat outside by a tree until he woke up around close to 7:00 ha ha, but it was all good it let him know we were ready to go!! He gave us some koko Samoa and then we went up to his ma’mauga which was a good hour and a half walk!! We got there and started to weed his Taro plantation (ma’umauga=plantation). Well he thought we were weak or not used to work as he kept telling us to rest ha ha!! But ya it was good and on the way back I talked to him about stopping smoking and taught him or helped him understand more about why not to procrastinate and that we have agency, but God still expects of us obedience to all of His commandments!! It was good and I got him to commit to try to stop and clean up his life.

Then the next great experience was at our fafaga at Lemau and Tinei’s house. But that same day we had had a zone conference and it was good. It was a good prep for us for when Elder Pearson of the Seventy is coming, well actually here and we have a conference with all of Savaii and him tomorrow in Fusi from 10-4, so a good long one and for it we need to prepare a talk for 2-3 minutes so if he calls on us to be ready!! So ya great counsel though during it on when studying focus on investigators and do some role play and then also help strengthen others and not cast them out. Thus why our experience at Lemau’s was so good. We almost didn’t go to it as they were on their way of bringing it to us, but we got them to turn around and have it at their house which was perfect. After eating I started talking to Lemau who is kind of weak in the church, going when he wants and by what his wife is saying starting to smoke and stuff, and also has an earring(not that big but still ya know). I asked him what church he believed was true as Paul says in Ephesians “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism” and he said ours but his only problem was Joseph’s First Vision. He said it is hard for him to believe that God the Father and His Son appeared to him, but that he believed Joseph was the one chosen to restore the church and did. Kind of strange but as we talked he said he knew he needed to find out for himself and we bore testimony that that part is what was keeping him from obeying all the commandments and being more active. I also bore firm testimony that he did in fact see God the Father and Jesus Christ and they did speak to him and he did get an answer to his sincere prayer. I bore testimony of the truthfulness of the church and of the power of prayer but it needs to be sincere and he accepted he would search and pray for himself which is exactly what we want all to do. That is our purpose, to invite others. They still have agency but we do what we can to help them.

(continued below)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cody, Sile and Elder To'o-Fa'alogo

Then finally one of the biggest tender blessings in the area right before transfers was our lesson with Sile!!  We had been trying so hard to get a time with him to teach the last lesson left for after baptism but he has been busy and stuff so we just kept trying.  Finally on Friday we set a time and met with him and started first reviewing all the first lessons before we taught the last one on Laws and Ordinances.  Also what was good is a kid named Fealofani who is 24 but preparing for a mission wanted to attend a lesson with us so that worked out. He helped out on clarifying some parts and using questions to teach.  So while we were teaching Sile I had a hard time trying to keep Fealofani and Fiu Fale the second counselor of the Bishopric, to keep focused on Sile and teach him not try and discuss stuff with me.  The lesson was really good though and at the end I asked Sile to bear his testimony to us and at first he looked really nervous and probably was but then he started and the Spirit was so strong and he said that he didn’t know a lot and he may seem weak and his testimony may seem weak but he was firm in his knowledge that this church was true!!  ‘Mausali’ is what he used and that no matter what he would never turn from it but keep strong and never change churches!  He knows it’s true and with all his heart and mind.  It was such a strengthening to my testimony.  I felt blessed to have had the opportunity to listen to that.   I then bore my testimony, crying a little, and told him how bearing testimony strengthens others and helps your own as well.

Well that is the wrap for this week. Next week-- report from Puapua!! I will miss Sili but we will work hard, if not harder, giving it our all wherever and whenever. I know this Church is true and the only true and living one. I know that God Lives. I know that Jesus is the Christ our Savior and Redeemer. I love Him with all my heart. His Grace is Sufficient. I know that Joseph Smith restored the church in its fullness to the earth and also translated the Book of Mormon. What an awesome book. I will be finishing it next Sunday. I started re-reading at the start of August when Too-Faalogo came and now after 12 weeks, I will be done. I love it!! So awesome!! I know it’s true!! I know President Monson is the true prophet today. I love you all!! Miss ya, but I love where I am at!! Thanks for everything. All the support, letters, and everything. Ou te Alofa Tele iate Outou!! Remember, Keep Strong!!

Alofa atu,
Elder Cody John Walker

Sili and Cody

Malo and Family

Faaola Moe and Faaofa Leopena

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Great Opportunities for Teaching

Talofa Lava!!!                                                                                                    Oct. 10, 2011
Malo Soifua ma le Lagi Mama!! Hey everybody how is everything going? Anything new going on this past week? Hope you have had fun listening to the tape and getting the pictures too!!
So this week we finished up all the lessons with Lucia. It was a great experience and I loved teaching her, she is such a great lady and she loved all the lessons. Needless to say after we talked more this week she apologized for the comments on the lesson about being too long because as we went a long she commented how she loved to talk to us and discuss certain things about the church and also reading together from the Book of Mormon. We started with lesson three on Tuesday and as we started talking about baptism and how it is essential to enter into the Kingdom of God she got more interested and we read out of 2 Nifae 31 about how the Savior was baptized to fulfill all righteousness and how also He had set the perfect example and shown us the only true and right way to return to God. She said she understood that, and also as we talked how there really is only one true church of God and Jesus Christ because as the scriptures say the gate is baptism and so if it isn’t performed how Jesus was baptized, then it is some other path and that won’t lead to eternal life and God. It was a very spiritual lesson and as we talked and testified, my comp included in the lesson testifying and bearing his testimony twice in Samoan and doing a lot better, I could feel the Spirit strong and carrying it to Lucia!! Also it was good that her husband was there for the first part of the lesson and shared his thoughts on repentance and baptism which is Awesome because Lucia needs help, support, and strength from her husband and also then she can help him too.

The family is essential and important in the church and they understand that. As the husband, Saogalote, talked he said how he knows this church focuses on the family while others not as much and also how when families are living the way they are supposed to, they are more happy and united. Then the next two days we finished up talking about the last two lessons on the Commandments and also the 5th lesson on Laws and Ordinances. Now the fifth lesson is normally for after baptism but my comp and I prayed and decided to teach it to Lucia before she left to go back to Upolu this Saturday, so she can have the goal of the temple and eternal marriage and also help her understand her role as a member more and also how her husband, who holds the priesthood, when held worthily is a great and marvelous blessing in the home. We are going to miss her but we are going to refer her over to the elders in Magiagi who actually is Elder Nilsen from my MTC and his comp Elder Priday and hopefully they can contact her and get the marriage performed along with her baptism by the next month or so. We are continually praying for her, and also got some pix with her to remember her by, and hope all works out and the family said they would keep me updated. So ya that was our only investigator in our area, so now we are back to searching!!

So a cool thing is my comp got this exercise machine thing from his family so we are using that now and it is great. We actually started this morning using it as he got it yesterday. I also got the boxes you sent mom; thank you so much for all of that, it was great!! And you too, Tori- the cereal is awesome and helps out in the morning. Love you all and hope to continue to hear from you guys. Keep me updated please!! You all are so Awesome!!
Oh plans for this week are good too, as my comp and I are taking a different approach at getting referrals and such. This week for Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday mornings we are going up to members plantations (ma’umauga) on the mountain to help in the morning. Also as I was thinking we are going to go today and see if we can go to Manufotu Eli’s maumauga on Friday morning to help him and see what he says. Just keep serving and being friendly and who knows what might happen. It should be some good experiences.
Well again that is the update for us in this area, Sili. We are hoping and praying that the new law of Freedom of Religion passes this next month or so as that would open up this area to all other villages and we would also want to have bikes too. ha ha!! Anyway, I know this church is True and the only true and living one on the earth. I know that President Thomas S. Monson is the Mouthpiece of the Lord on the earth as His prophet and that He and the First Presidency along with the Quorum of the Twelve hold all the keys to lead this church. I know Jesus is the Christ and is our Savior and Redeemer. I love Him for all He has done and still does. I know God is our Loving Heavenly Father. I know He hears and answers our prayers as we are obedient and diligently search the scriptures, but always in His way and in His time according to His will. I know the Book of Mormon is the Word of God. Keep Strong. Remember that and His Grace is Sufficient. I love you all!! Thank you for everything!! Ou te alofa tele iate outou!!

Alofa
Elder Cody John Walker

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

GENERAL CONFERENCE!! KONAFESI AOAO!!

Talofa ma Malo Soifua!!!                                                                                 Oct. 3, 2011


WOW!!! That’s not even close to summing up General Conference!! Sekia!! It was so amazing!! I loved every talk!! They are inspired men and women. With every talk the spirit was soooo strong during all of the talks. Prayer, Scripture Study, Being an Example of the Believers, Service, Repentance and Forgiveness, "Raising Daughters" (for all my brothers ha ha), and so much more. So great!! I can’t wait for the Liahona to come out and be able to read and reread the talks. We are truly blessed to watch and listen to them. Like the song says "Come listen to a Prophets Voice" and "We thank thee O God for a Prophet". I learned so much and I need to continue to grow and progress. I need to read the Old Testament that’s one thing for sure. Also I am rereading the Book of Mormon again and am almost done. Can never read it enough!! Gain something new each time I read it. I love Conference. It is so awesome. Can’t wait for six more months.

Oh ya Happy Birthday Angela!!! Manuia Lou Aso Fanau!! I hope it’s a great day and you enjoy it to the fullest!!

Well other then conference being the highlight of my week, we also got in three awesome lessons with L. The first one was on Tuesday and I have to say another one of the most spiritual lessons and all the credit goes to the Holy Ghost. All went just right; I didn't rush but just talked with her and asked her questions and was able to teach to her. She seemed interested and happy the entire time and accepted all we taught. She even accepted to be baptized after the first lesson and prayed too. While teaching, I teared up a few times while talking about how God is our Loving Heavenly Father and how He again has restored the church again to the earth, fully and completely, through Joseph Smith who is a Prophet of God, It was so amazing and I can't even describe the feeling. I feel so blessed more and more as I study and then teach others about the gospel and bearing testimony with the Spirit carrying my words to the investigators. A once in a lifetime opportunity that’s for sure and I love being here in Samoa!!

I can’t believe it has already been past a year. I also can’t believe that Kinnon is home, and then it’s Tyler in December and Ross then Cory and I. Time is going by way to fast. It’s crazy and I don't like it. I want to stay here!! Just got to do all I can and live it up to the fullest!! Anyways ya we planned to teach the 2nd lesson the next day on Wednesday so we left and when we came back the next day it didn't seem the same?! We started talking to the mom of L's husband and she told us that L had talked with her dad and mom over in Upolu and they had said they want to talk and stuff before the wedding and talk more with L before any plans of baptism. Also she said that L loved the lesson but said it was too long??!!

I couldn't believe it, as we had just covered all of it and she seemed in tune and loving it and also in Samoan lessons rarely are shorter than an hour. I was shocked, but knew it is more important to focus on her and her needs, so we planned to cut the second lesson in half and she accepted to continue to listen and we had another good lesson and she said she appreciated it not being as long. Man it kind of shocked me and could have really been a downer, but just trust in the Lord and go forward. Other people think lessons are too short and love to talk for a long time but ya!! We finished up the second lesson on the plan of salvation on Friday and she really liked the idea of living together forever with her family and God at the last day. But the downer of this is they had been talking and don’t want to be married until December. I don't know why but that’s what they are thinking. They are returning back to Upolu and are staying there until December and were thinking then of getting married and baptized. Well I found out where she lives and will refer her to elders over in Upolu to talk and hopefully get things finished up there. Keep praying and helping her understand not to hold off on these things but also keep learning more and keep the spirit in her life. It still is sad though as we were excited for an opportunity to have a baptism here and also for my comp. But just Keep Strong and pushing forward!!

But ya that is the basic short update for this week. You all heard conference so it may be I repeated some stuff. We are planning on finishing the lessons with Lucia and then referring her to Upolu. I know this Church is True and is the Only True church on the Earth. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I know that President Thomas S. Monson is a true Prophet of God and that he and his counselors with the Quorum of the Twelve are prophets seers and revelators. I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know this is His Church and He is at the Helm. I know He is our Savior and Redeemer, our Advocate with the Father. Go unto Him and He will heal all pains both physical and spiritual. His Grace is Sufficient. I know God is our Loving Heavenly Father. I know the Book of Mormon is the Word of God and that it is another Testament of Jesus Christ. It is an inspired book and contains the fullness of the Gospel. I love you all so much!! Sorry for the shortness but nothing else this week. Keep Strong!! Relisten and reread the articles and talks. It is such a blessing and opportunity!! ou te alofa tele iate outou!! Thanks for everything!!

Alofa atu
Elder Cody John Walker

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Slowly Getting It Going!!

Talofa Lava!!!                                                                                                      Sept. 26, 2011
Hey everybody!! What’s up?? Anything new?! I hope all is going great and if any new news comes up-- keep me posted. I’m talking of new ones maybe on the way not holding out or keeping it a secret until you know if it’s a boy or a girl he hem..Jenny and Tyson! he he funny jokes it’s all pule a outou!!

Well this week has been a little busy but also a good week planning for weeks to come. Let me explain. We went and contacted our referrals this week and we have a promising one that needs to get married first but this time things should work out hopefully. The whole situation with Tina was iffy but this one is different, the family is strong in the church and also for our lessons the Mom of the house is going to be with us with the lessons and she is the president of the Au Alofa (Relief Society). The name of the girl is Lucia and she has been going to church steadily for about three weeks now so that’s good. Sad we didn't get referred to her sooner, no one really puts it at such importance. But once we found out we contacted her right away just wanting to progress the work. The Mom is the mom of the guy, Saogaloke, and she is pretty confident of the marriage and baptism after we talked, so that should be fun. Always best to work alongside members. That’s how the work can double and triple!!

Also we had some other referrals too, but when we went to contact them the family said they had gone to Upolu for a quick trip and errand and hopefully came back last Saturday. So we are going to go check up on that this week. I am just hoping and praying all begins going better and the work is again picking up. It’s hard only having a limited amount of area to proselyte. We like I have said before have visited almost every house in this area or tried. We can’t go outside of Sili until they open it for us to go to Papa, Puleia, Gautavai, and Gataivai. So just keep praying and doing all we can!! Oh a good thing for this week is my comp and I have a service project planned for Thursday at a part-member part less active family's house this week in Papa. It’s Merita and her Mom, Tauola, they are building another house and doing a lot of work, so I offered for our zone to help and also some of the high priests and elders are going to come and help out too. It should be a good thing. I love doing service!! It can do more than teaching a lot of the time and can open other doors. It feels great too, to do it. So ya, that should be good this week!!

We had a great lesson with Rasela and Faamalie this week. It is that loomatua (elderly lady) that was giving us trouble and not letting us teach Rasela who wanted to maybe be baptized, so after a month I thought we would go back and give it a shot and it went well. We talked and tried to help Faamalie understand the importance of the church and also hopefully soften her heart to let us teach Rasela. Also her belief, like many others, is that every church is true and will lead us back to God. FALSE!! Why are so many commandments different and there are different beliefs?? That is the big question! Also had another lesson with a less active lady named Luka and I thought it went well and I invited her to church and she said she was going to Upolu to take a sick kid there but after our fafaga on Sunday caught her coming back from the meeting for the Metokisi (Methodist) church. So ya she said that someone else took the kid, I don't know if it’s true but ya. She says she always is available to talk about religion and the lesson we had was so good, read chapter 31 in 2 Nephi and she said herself how enduring to the end is so important. But we will keep trying and visiting her so hopefully all that works out.

Well that is the update for this week I got to get going. Sorry it is short again and hopefully it is better next week. I know this church is true and is the ONLY true and living church on the earth. I know it is led by a living Prophet. How great this weekend to listen to his voice and the voices of other apostles and prophets and others give us council for our day to help us get back to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the only way to gain salvation. His Atonement makes it possible for us. I know He lived and died for us. There is no other way. Read the Book of Mormon. Let us not become lazy either because of the Easiness of the Way. Alma 37!! So great! It can be easy as we seek to obey all of the commandments and He will help and bless us. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I love you all!!! ou te alofa tele iate outou!!! Thank you all for everything!! Keep Strong!! Remember that and His Grace is Sufficient.
Alofa atu
Elder Cody John Walker

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Just Keep Trucking!

Talofa Lava!!!                                                                                                  Sept. 19, 2011

Hey everybody!! How’s everything going? Good-- besides the BYU massacre on Saturday, I just hope we can bounce back. Anyway ya I don't have much to say about that, just I am on my mission and am glad I didn't have to watch that! 2012 baby ha ha!!! Jokes everyone jokes. In fact, I don't want 2012 to come actually as that means the end of my mission that year!! Time is going by way too fast; I love my mission and don't want to ever leave!


So this week will be a short report as...we lost Tina this week too. ARGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! And the family told me she ran away just bluntly like so "Ua sola!" which means escaped/ran away. So no good there as she really wanted to be baptized. Found out from other families that the dad, Isaia, of her boyfriend thought to soon be husband actually chased her away making her fly back to Apia. Well we have no pule (authority) over that stuff of course so just talked with them asking if there could be a chance she would return and Isaia just shook his head. So another downer of a week with that news I know and yet again we are on the searching side and trying to find people to teach. Learning patience is hard I am not going to lie. But it is worth it and will pay off as I put trust in the Lord!!


Yep so another thing I can write about is the split we did with Peck, our zone leader, and his comp Faumuina on Tuesday. It went pretty good. Peck and I went on some visits in Sili Lua while my comp went with Faumuina to Sili Muamua and had some good visits. Oh funny thing is when they came back and reported what they did they had all of the people Sili Muamua ask them if I had been transferred, and then on Sunday I had others come up and asked what had happened saying they were sad and mad I hadn't told them. That was really cool, I love the Sili Muamua ward they are great! They are so cool and fun to be around, I am beginning to get that way with the Sili Lua just got to keep visiting and stuff. But anyways Peck and I went to Alofa's house to see if he was ready and turns out he completely forgot. Didn’t really matter, but we just started the visits for the day. First was Isaia's with the story of Tina as you have already read. Then we went next to go see Faamalie and Rasela, but they were both in Tutuila so we are going to go back this week hopefully catch them and change the loomatua's (elderly lady's) mind, Faamalie. Then we had gotten a referral and went next to this house to try and get in to talk and they denied us, but told us to go see their daughter Ruta (or Luka) next door. So we went over and started talking to her. It ended up being a super good visit and we taught her a lesson concerning the church and the Book of Mormon!! Peck was great and just started right in on teaching her and getting to know the reason she hasn't been back to church. She said there wasn't any reason at first but as we talked she got open with us and started describing how some other people from different churches were preaching during their meetings false things of our church and stuff, just shows how scared they are and how persecuted this church is. Well we were able to give her a Book of Mormon and settle all of her problems which she seemed happy to come to know. That was a great visit and I learned some new stuff teaching with Peck. He is a great guy and a great leader as well!


Also my comp got super sick this week as well with the flu and cold and upset stomach. He was bedridden all day Friday. But he is doing better now and we are ready for this week. We have a few referrals to check up on this week so hopefully that works out and I think they all need to married first, but we want to teach anyone and everyone. We are just praying and hoping so much to reap success, but as we are obedient and do all we can we will be blessed.


Well it’s time to go, sorry for the short email but not really any new stuff this week and as I have said the last two weeks. Hope and pray for a better email with better news next week. I know this church is true. I know we have a living prophet on the earth today. What a great opportunity next month for all of us to listen to his voice and the voice of his counselors and the Quorum of the Twelve. They are truly prophets, apostles and seers. I know that Joseph Smith restored the gospel in its fullness to the earth and also the Priesthood which is the power of God. I know that Jesus is the Christ and that He atoned for our sins. I know He is our Savior and Redeemer our Advocate with the Father. Trust in Him. I know that God is our Loving Heavenly Father and He live. I love you all!!! Keep Strong!!! Remember that and His Grace is Sufficient. Ou te Alofa tele iate outou!!


Alofa atu
Elder Cody John Walker

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Devastation to Great in One Week!!

Malo le Soifua!!!                                                                                                      Sept. 12, 2011

Ua?!? Hey everybody what’s up?! How is everything going? I hope all is good and you guys are enjoying Zions or wherever you are ha ha!! Well I guess when the time zone switch happens here in Samoa and we change days going a day earlier than all of you, then we you can email as well again on Sunday though that will be cool, different for you but cool!!!


Well as the title of this email goes, it is just a coincidence that right after I tell you about this success that is starting and maybe we will get some other work started other places...well there are no real words to describe it!! The next day we had planned, this being Tuesday, to go to Manufotu's family and also start lessons with Toala Lepau and his wife as well. First off we visited Lemau and Tinei to see what their story was with their marriage and if they had talked to the Bishop on Sunday to get the process started with him and then next to the Stake President. Well while we were waiting with Tinei for Lemau to come back from an errand, Toala Lepau, whose house is right next to them came over and said that his wife did not want to start the lessons and didn't want us over, so that just fell through!! He apologized because I think it was he who wanted to talk to us!! Well that was a bummer and then we were hoping for better news with Manufotu later, actually praying hard in my heart and wanting to teach them!! After that, we talked to Lemau and Tinei and they may want to hear the lessons again just to be ready. We then left to go over to Manufotu's house. We had seen him earlier with his wife washing clothes in the river and he said for us to come back later. When we got there he was coming back from working a little at a different house. We all sat down and started to talk and he apologized for being busy the last two weeks and I said no problem, funerals are important but then he kept going saying that when his father found out over in Apia, he forbade him to not continue the lessons, but to tell us to not teach them anymore!! So respectfully he declined us coming back to teach lessons but said to continue in just regular comings and goings to just see them. ARGHHHHHH Devastation!! Doesn’t describe it!!! Shoot they were such a grand family and I thought for sure it was going to turn out. I was pretty bummed that whole rest of the day and a couple after. But as many elders have been helping me and telling me to keep going and also with that, I have been thinking and reminded that some missionaries are planters of the seed and others will reap. Right now my comp and I are doing as much as we can to spread the word and strengthen others in Sili and hopefully after we are gone or down the road someone else will be able to gather them and help and baptize!! Keep the faith and do all I can.


Well also as the title says, other things are great and that’s because we gained a grand investigator and you know what scripture comes to mind, that how great shall be your joy with one, because on Tuesday we lost 7 all together but then gained 1. But I love it and am so humbled and blessed as the Lord blessed us to gain one instead of having none. Her name is Tina and she is in Sili Lua too. It has been awhile for that ward to gain a baptism and right now she only has two lessons remaining. We received the referral the week earlier as you all know but as she was sick we didn't get an opportunity to meet with her. So we went back on Wednesday and started talking with Isaia the dad of the family, Tina's husband’s father, and he called over Tina and I asked what her feelings were and if she wanted to start lessons and she agreed and I asked about when we could have an opportunity and she said right then!! Great, awesome!! So we got right into the first lesson. It went awesome and she accepted all of it, the only hold back was Isaia. He kept trying to teach me or think to correct me on certain things. Now it wasn't just help he was giving, but literally going kind of away from the lesson and talking just to me. I just listened, and tried to get back and finish the lesson. I tried not to get frustrated as well as that would have made the spirit leave right away. He is a smoker and less active guy so I have tried to talk to him about the word of wisdom and finally just got bold and told him to do it and repent as I felt prompted because he is not being serious. Also though that whole area has many older men, members of the church too and nonmembers who smoke nonstop, off the chain. Ya, so it’s frustrating to go over to members’ houses and they not understand the seriousness of this commandment as with the rule they have to go to church, just don't understand as I said but it is just my job to try and help them to stop and become worthy again. Anyway back to Tina, we finished the first lesson and the next day we had the second lesson and it went better this time as Isaia helped more than taught me so that was better and he accepted that his smoking is something he needs to work on and I also let him know his family wants him to stop as well. Tina let us know also after the lesson that she would be coming back next week to stay. Oh details first, ha ha, she told us at the first lesson she was going to Apia and didn't know is she was coming back for awhile, but I guess she changed her mind and is coming back after all to stay and she wants to be baptized too. So we just need to work with her and get the marriage set up and also her baptism for hopefully the last Saturday of September. Praying and hoping!! But it feels like all might work out and I have faith.


So this week we have a planned split with Peck, the zone leader on Tuesday, and when I told Alofa the ward mission leader in Sili Lua he said he wanted to come too so that will be a great day! I am going with Peck and Alofa while my comp is going to go with Faumuina to make some visits in Sili Muamua and see what they can get. It should be good and fun. I am excited because I want some fresh ideas for finding people and we need it, as we also went to Papa this past week and talked with the Pulenuu (mayor) and asked if it really was open for us to proselyte in Papa/Puleia and come to find out...ITS Not!!!!! Another disappointment!! And he said that we almost caused ourselves to be fined when we went to the house in front of his as his is off the road. (meaning part of his village). We can visit members but no one else and I asked if it could be opened and he said he didn't think so ever, as the rule has been there for a very long time, like before he was born.


Oh also Johnson and Liston who were in my zone at Faala were transferred this morning back to Upolu. Johnson is training and so is Nilsen from my mtc and hopefully one of those two trains Elder Boren as that would be Awesome. I am excited to see him but it may not be for awhile. Anyway also as Johnson was District leader and he left, Peck called and said that is now my new assignment. Great opportunity so I am excited!!


Well that is the update and the word!! Anyway I have got to go. I know this Church is true and the only true church on the earth, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know it is led by a living prophet and that President Thomas S. Monson holds all the keys to do so on this earth. He, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve are prophets, seers and revelators. I know that Joseph Smith was called of God to restore the church and also translate the Book of Mormon. That book is blue and it is True through and through!! I know it is another Testament of Jesus Christ. I know that Jesus is the Christ and our Savior and Redeemer. He is our Advocate with the Father at the Judgment Bar. I know our Heavenly Father lives and loves us. Remember Keep Strong. His Grace is Sufficient. I love you all!! ou te alofa tele iate outou!! Keep me updated and some pix would be great. Thanks for everything!!
Alofa atu
Elder Cody John Walker