Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cyclone Weather!!

Hey Fam!! 1/24/11

Talofa Lava!!! o a mai outou?? Hey everybody how’s it all going? How’s the weather there? It’s just been raining basically everyday here almost all day too!! Don't worry yet I guess because the cyclone (afa) I don't think is going to hit here or if it does it won’t be too big is all I can guess!! President Haleck and his wife are stuck in Tutuila American Samoa because of the storm hit there pretty hard I guess!! I hope all is alright over there we have been warned many times to stay at the fale sa because of the storm, but nothing really big happens. But it’s good to be safe anyway!!!
So this week like I said has been pretty rainy especially Wednesday so we had things canceled but I got a lot of studying and reading in that day, in fact I finished Jesus the Christ and wow what a book that was!!! It was excellent and definitely a good book to read!!! It has strengthened my testimony and I have learned so much more and gained a lot more knowledge from it!!! Anyway it was a great book to read!!!

On Tuesday we started out talai tuitui (proselyting) again on the road behind the church and again we had some good visits!! Lemoli lua (2nd) doesn’t have a ward mission leader but they are working on it because that is really important as you come to find out as a missionary!!! So dad keep up the good work!!! We met some less active people who wanted us to return as well as finding others who wanted to talk which may be just so they can bible bash but it’s still a chance to talk hopefully not turn out bad ha ha. One when we were talking the first thing he said was "What’s the definition (meaning) of the word Sabbath?" He is a seventh day Adventist and they ask that a lot!!! They say that their religion is the right one because of them worshipping on the Sabbath!! Oh well he asked us to come back and talk so we will. One other guy we talked to had a pretty bad view on missionaries. He put all missionaries in a certain group, of after the mission just going home and kafau (hang out, not a good thing) and become less active. Pretty surprising to us who weren't planning on doing that at all, so my comp tried to explain that everyone is different and not all missionaries do that but he didn't sound so convinced. Oh well hopefully his mindset changes. Another good thing about just walking and going to every house is to meet members!! It’s always good to have the members like you and get to know them, right Blake! Thanks for the advice it is good and very important!!!

On Wednesday we had planned for the same thing in lemoli muamua (1st) but it didn't work out with the rain, so we studied and read and that night we had a meeting with the president of the stake for the goal setting and stuff for the year. It has been an improvement from 2009 for Aleisa stake. We went from 36 baptisms in the year to 57!!! And now the goal is for 84 so hopefully we can get it!!! All was good there, it was a good meeting!!

Thursday was our weekly fono (meeting) for the zone It’s always good to have those and afterwards that night we had planned to teach Fesolai and Maria Moega but when we got there Silia was there Taunese's sister (uso) and so we taught her since Fesolai was busy. She was the one who I talked to about the temple. Anyway the lesson went good for my comps part, on the other hand for me I was not having that good of a day because I was criticizing myself for the language. I was doubtful of myself and didn't have any confidence and the one time I went to bear my testimony I got all jumbled in Samoan and English which is really bad, but I learned from it that I have got to keep a positive attitude and keep working!! It takes too much time to be frustrated and discouraged. Just keep positive and laughing, and always pray for help as well.

Friday we met with Perenise again and she is a good lady. She has a testimony but just cannot give up smoking! She knows the church is true and has been meeting with missionaries for quite a while about 10 or so, so we need to start pressing that she come to church and reduce the smoking slowly to where she isn't anymore. Hopefully all goes well. She was nice though and gave us money for some drinks, so that’s nice. We made other stops on our way down to Faleasiu where when we got down there it started to pour rain so we got a ride back to the chapel from the ward mission leader, Misiona, in the Faleasiu itai road. Our zone was sleeping in Lepale for another galuega fesoasoani (service project) the next morning.
The service project was sasa le vao (cutting the grass) with knives!!! It was awesome!!! It was raining slightly but it felt good. It was so much fun to use a machete and cut grass with it!!! I took pix so I’ll send some next week hopefully. It was great and we all worked together taking turns and stuff. Good hard work, oh and we also planted fala (pineapples) for them. Then we got a call from the AP’s to stay there because of the storm so we stayed in Lepale as a zone. Nothing happened though just a warning. We had fun together though!!

The next day was Sunday and we stayed in Lemoli this week. The stake president went to each ward and I guess so did every stake president in each of their stakes to say only sacrament meeting because of the cyclone!! Another warning but not much has happened, unusual so just waiting. It was good and the fafaga was great. The family is awesome and way cool!! It is the second counselor to the bishop, Fiti, and his family. They are way nice!!

Well that’s the update for this week. I love you all!!! I love the letters and news!!! I wish you all a great week. I know this church is true and is led by a living prophet Thomas S. Monson. I know Joseph Smith is a true prophet and that he restored the church. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and along with the Bible contains Christ's church. I know Jesus is the Christ. I know He lived and died for us. I know through Him we can return to our loving Heavenly Father. He is the way the truth and the light. He lived the perfect life and gave it up so willing for us. He overcame death and so will all of us! What a great blessing!!! ou te alofa ia te outou!!! Keep Strong!!!! thanks for everything!!!

Elder Cody John Walker

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Talofa Lava!

January 17, 2011

Talofa Lava!!! Hey everybody!!! How’s everything?? Sounds like everything is great!!! Hopefully it continues that way! Anyway what’s new and happening? How bad did Utah lose to BYU at bball? I bet so ha ha!! Anyway just keep me updated when possible. I love the news!!!

This past week has been pretty slow actually, but we still got a lot of work done!!! We went "knocking doors" or tala'i tuitui as they call it because we don't really knock ha ha! But ya anyway it was great we just went down this street which started at our fafaga and worked down to the faleasi'u chapel stopping at every fale (house) we saw whether we knew they were members or not!! It was good and I got some more practice in with the language and slowly progressing in that aspect. It’s coming slowly and I know that as I continue trying and working at it will come. I love it though, it is fun and way exciting!! But back to proselyting; we did that two days on two different streets. It is a good opportunity to not only let people know we are there and trying to work and get to as many houses as possible, but also that we just want to know as many people as possible!! As the speech says when you go up to the house "e talatalanoa ma faamasani ona" (converse and make familiar) with other things. It’s great and many people let us in and as we talked they gave us fala or offered us water. Such nice people!! Others were busy but they said come back another time (they all say that but oh well) so we said we would!!
The other road we went on was the one behind the chapel in lemoli lua (2nd) I am pretty sure. We started at a lady's house where we were teaching her husband’s younger brother and when we got there they said he was gone to town. So we saw the lady and asked her how she was and she teared up and started to shake and said "Manuia" (good) but not very sounding like she was good. My comp started to talk to her and we found out her husband had just died like two weeks ago!! What a surprise to us and was buried two Saturdays ago. She had wanted to prepare to marry in the temple and things were going well then came the unexpected!! It was so sad, but my comp explained the ordinance can still happen if she is faithful and obedient, so she said she would come to church and keep working towards that. That was good to hear!! Then we just continued down the street till it started to rain and we headed back to the house to get picked up by the zls!!

That night was really cool because in Lepale I got to watch a mock sort of ceremony of some aganuu (culture) and it was crazy!!! The young men and women did it while the elders watched. Some parts were funny while they were done by the younger generation but it was still cool and way exciting to watch!! The language was different in the way that they were using matai (high chief) words or more respectful words during the ceremony. It was way fun though and I liked it!! I’ll have to send some pix when I get on next time.
We didn't have a chance with Fesola'i and Maria Moega this week again but they are ready as soon as Fesola'i's family goes home and they are free. It’s just we want to keep visiting them and keep them strong!!! Oh some good news is a guy we are teaching came to church, his name is Nu'utele and he is struggling with some of the word of wisdom (o le upu o le poto), but he is getting better and then he came to church again!!! I know he is a good guy and will be a faithful member!!!

The work is going great!!! I am excited as I am understanding more and more with the language and speaking more with the help of my soa and my zone. All the people here are so great!! Oh the whole goal for reading BOM in Samoan is being continued through next month, as I am realizing how long it takes to read out loud so hopefully by the end of February (fepuali) but I still will get it hopefully!!! I know this church is true and the only one on the face of the earth!!! I know it is led by a living prophet Peresitene Monson who receives revelation for us in our day!!! I know Joseph Smith is a prophet and restored the church!!! I know he translated the book of Mormon which is the word of God!!! I know Jesus is the Christ!!! I know He loved us and still loves us through performing the Atonement!!! I love Him!! I love you all!! oute alofa ia te outou!!!! keep strong!!!! thanks for everything (faafetai mo mea uma)
Elder Cody John Walker

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Busy and Fun

January 10. 2011

Malo Soifua!!! O a mai outou? How is everybody?? How was Alyssa's baby
blessing? Hopefully the flights were good and not too bad with the
weather!!! How was it? I bet it was just great!! Who was able to go?
How is she doing and also Jason and Rachael? I hope all is good!! I
will hopefully be back on the regular schedule of email on next Monday
so cross your fingers!!! Since last Thursday it has still been pretty
busy and fun!!
It’s been a pretty tough time getting to finish the last lesson with
the Fesolai and Malia Moega!! We have scheduled about three or four
lessons and even shown up to some to have them say they are busy or
family is visiting!! It’s too bad because it is really a simple lesson,
the commandments and they don't have any word of wisdom or any other
commandments they are breaking to keep them from baptism. So we will
keep trying!! They are doing great though and still progressing!! On
Thursday night we taught the third lesson, the gospel of Jesus Christ
and it was really good!! We started off answering their questions on
the previous lesson about the plan of salvation!! Malia is really
doing well with the reading and getting questions. We are doing
well in answering or at least my soa is. I am still trying and
doing the best I can. I am being told I am improving which I like
Anyway these are two great investigators and I am excited for
them to be baptized, which it should be soon!!
We have tried to make other visits but all of them have fallen
through!! With dances and people working and also the rain it has not
helped but we keep trying right?! We have also stopped by and seen
people who were baptized recently to see how they are doing.
I am happy to report we are looking forward to about five
people ready to be baptized this month hopefully, so pray for that!!!
It is so exciting!!! The work is still progressing and it is not being
stopped!!! I was able to baptize another person on Sunday, a girl 15
yrs old who lives with the second counselor to the bishop!! I only got
to teach one lesson with her but she is a good girl and really
strong!! Her name is Faaaloaloga Sefika!!! It was great!!! We also
confirmed Fereti a member of the church on Sunday!!! It was a great
Sabbath day!!! I am still working towards my goal of finishing reading the
book of Mormon in Samoan out loud and Jesus the Christ!!! It is great
and I love it!!! I better go!!! But I know this church is true and is
led by a living prophet!!! I know Jesus is the Christ the Son of the
living God!!! I know He atoned for our sins in order that we can
repent and return to live with our Heavenly Father someday!!! The book
of Mormon is the word of God and was translated by Joseph Smith!!! I
love you all!! Oute Alofa ia te outou!!! keep strong!!!

Alofa Elder Cody John Walker