Tuesday, February 15, 2011

NEWS FROM RAINY SAMOA

February 15, 2011

Malo Soifua!! Hey everybody what is happening?? Any new news anyone is hiding, Tyson and Jenny? But really it’s great to be updated. I love hearing from everybody. Elder Su'a is the new elder with Davidson and they are both ZL's and he is a great guy and funny too! I am already liking this guy.

Well this last week we had no baptisms but a lot of lessons and we were planning on five this upcoming Saturday, but after interviews tomorrow that went down to four (I’ll explain later) They are all kids around the ages of 9-12 or so. That’s always good to help them get involved in the church early. They are just so trusting and believe all that we say and are easy to teach for that reason. They are also very shy! We had a lesson with Elena a little girl about 10, and she wouldn't answer any question my comp asked her, she would just nod her head or shake it to Yes\No questions, so it’s kind of difficult there. I can understand when two strangers, one white to add, come in and start asking questions about some stuff she had really never heard before. That is the same story with almost every kid ages nine to eleven. We are teaching another lady's son named Jason, he is only eight though but he didn't go to church and when they asked me if we taught him I thought that his mom wasn't a member so that would be one we would teach. Well the lady is a member in fact the same lady, her name is Lafua, whose husband died (look back a couple emails). She really wants all of her children to go to church and be strong and herself too so they can go to the temple soon and be sealed together forever. What great news when I heard that!!! She was asking if it was possible that she could be married in the temple, and have her children sealed to her and her deceased husband, and of course I answered yes and she was happy and ready to prepare!! Another boy she showed to us, his name is Jess, and we have started lessons with him this past week. We can still teach Jason but not baptize him; the good thing is we will teach Jess and Jason together the rest of the lessons so they can be more comfortable in answering and being taught. We should finish up the lessons this week. We received two other referrals for two other kids we will start teaching today I think and try to finish and baptize by this Saturday. So the work is still going just great!!

We had two days of splits in both Lemoli wards this week. The first was on Wednesday with Lemoli 1st and it was good, but it rained really hard and was muddy and stuff. But we still made a lot of visits. We talked with Fesolai Faalaa and he said we could start lessons with him on Sunday, but when we went there, he declined, but said we could still visit. So that was a bummer. The other split was in Lemoli 2nd on Friday. I went with Pene who lives next to the church while Asuafi went with two other young men That was the day we received the contact for Lafua's son Jason so that was good. But right after the split, the APs called to let us know as well as everyone else in the mission that when splits happen comps have to stay together or missionaries have to stay together. Anyway it was a good week and the language is coming along still. Hopefully it picks up faster and faster!!!

We had a good afiafi faaleaiga last night (fhe) with Fesolai and Maria and their family. Their first one, it was great! I loved it. Silia was there too and we found out that she attended all of church on Sunday. What great news!!! We heard she is quitting smoking and drinking coffee too. She is really liking what she hears and believing and the change is amazing. She should be baptized soon. It is so great to see the change in people’s lives. I love being a part of it, even though it’s small on my part, I am still there watching.

Interviews with president were today, plus teaching by the aps and senior couples. All did a great job and my interview with President was great! He gave me great advice again and challenged me to continue with the language and work hard. He complimented my comp and I on our work and said keep at it. It’s always great to talk one on one with president. He is a great guy and very inspired. He is also funny. Just a great guy. I am thankful for him and all he does!!
Well that’s the update. I love you all!! I know this church is true and led by a living prophet. I know that Jesus is the Christ and that He is our advocate with the Father. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. oute alofa ia te outou!!! Keep Strong!!!!
Alofa Elder Cody John Walker

Monday, February 7, 2011

NEWS FOR ME!!

NEWS FOR ME!! Feb. 7, 2011

Talofa Lava!!!! First off I cannot believe Tyson and Jenny keep secrets from us until they find out the gender of their baby!!! No fair at all!!! Well that is great!!! I am just betting it’s a girl just by the odds of the rest of the family but who knows!!! That’s some great new news for me though!!! I love hearing about all this and how the Walker clan is growing so fast ha ha!!!! I love you all, that’s just great news!!! Oh so I have some new stuff that’s happening in our zone. First off, my comp Asuafi will be leaving to his mission in Papa New Guinea in two weeks since he received his visa and so I will be on my fourth comp when he leaves. It’s kind of a bummer, because he has been helping me a lot with the language and stuff. But he is going to where he was originally called so that’s good for him. Next is the sisters, sister Laulu and another sister, Tualetonu, are going to be the first sisters to serve in an area of Savaii. That is some crazy stuff, the president has never put sisters there before. We are receiving three new sisters and three elders coming up this next week or the week after so sisters Logo, Soe, and Hunt are going to be the trainers. So a lot of new stuff and also Elder Davidson still hasn't gotten his last comp for his mission yet and he is still in a split. So that’s all the updates I have for you so far. It still rains everyday and every night but it feels good just not when it pours!!!
Soooo.... We had 6 baptisms this week!!! It was so amazing!!! We had seven we thought for sure but one went to Tafatafa with her mom so that didn’t work out, but we did baptize Fesolai and Malia and two of their daughters Lolina and Mary. It was such a great baptism!!! The spirit was so strong and Fesolai was like a little kid on Christmas. He was all giddy and happy and excited!! He didn't really know what would happen it was all a surprise to him. Malia was crying at the end and the two other girls were just beaming. It was so great and it felt great to be involved in a life changing experience with them. Then the next day we got to stand in on the confirmation and it was just a great weekend and a great thing to happen to them. They are a great family and will stay strong in the church. I know that because they are strong and have a testimony.

The other two baptisms were a brother and a sister in Lemoli Muamua (1st) it was Viiga and Malu. It was great as well, I had the opportunity to perform their baptisms. Elder Asuafi performed the Moega's (Fesolai and Malia). Anyway it was a great day and our whole zone had some. All together I think we brought into the office about 10 or more baptisms. It was great and sister Merrell was happy. It feels so good to hear of all the success of everyone in the mission and in other places as well. The work is progressing and none can stop it. I love being involved with all of these experiences.

So we are still teaching Silia and had a kind of difficult lesson with her the other night on Wednesday. Elder Pili went on a split with us while his comp Elder Vili went with Davidson. So we went to teach her the third lesson and it took us 3 hours to complete it. It was insane, she just kept asking us challenging questions so as to catch us!!! My comp told me how she already has a good knowledge of the lessons and stuff but she just likes to test us. I finally after she asked the question on whether we believe Jesus Christ was perfect (which is yes!!!) and with the story of the clearing of the temple, I said to her that we can answer all these questions and you can choose whether to believe us or not it’s up to you, the real question is whether you believe and to really know you need to ask the one with all the answers, God through prayer. She got a little frustrated saying thank you I know that. But it ended that and probably some other bible bashing questions. She still wants us to teach her the last lesson about commandments and she will be ready with a lot of questions. Oh well, we will continue to teach and testify, that’s all we can do.
When we went back to visit Lonise, I forgot to tell you about her last week, she is a friend of Taunese (Fesola'i and Malia's Daughter) and she wants to be taught. Anyway she said her mom doesn't want her to be baptized but she wants to finish the lessons anyway and see what might happen. She is a really good girl and I can see she wants to understand.

All in all, it has been another great week. I am trimming up a little bit, my pants are getting looser, ha ha!!! To everyone who thought I would come back fat it’s not going to happen ha ha!!
I know this Church is true. I know President Monson is the true living prophet who leads and guides the church today. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and translated the Book of Mormon. I know the Book of Mormon is the Word of God. I know Jesus is the Christ and our Savior and Redeemer of our sins as long as we have faith and repent and try to be like Him. Ou te alofa ia te outou!!! Thanks for all the support and love!!!
Keep Strong!!! Remember that!!!
Alofa Elder Cody John Walker

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Temple and Teaching!!

Update for the Week!! 1/31/11

Talofa Lava!!! How is everybody? Hopefully all is just grand!!! We had another member of our zone go home today, Elder Vaenuku, a Tongan from West Valley just like Davidson, my second soa and follow up trainer. We actually dropped by the Malae Vaalele (airport) to see him off this morning. It was sad but all good!! He was actually in the same mtc group as Teaupa but he extended for a month. He was a great guy and awesome missionary!! It has been fun having him in our zone that’s for sure.

So this week, we taught a ton of lessons!!! It was great!!! My comp and I right now are planning for about 8 or 9 baptisms this coming Saturday!!! It should be a busy but awesome week. But first off on Tuesday it was a great day because we got to go to the Temple again!!! What an amazing place. I still didn't understand all of it in Samoan but I got a lot more which was awesome. It is still just a great place to be that’s for sure. I love it and it is beautiful inside and makes any person feel amazing. I can't write enough about it, but I can say it was great. Anyway it was fun and always a great opportunity.

Then we started trying to get lessons set up, especially with Fesolai, Maria, and their daughter, Lolina. Luckily they were free and we finished teaching them the last lesson Saturday night. They are so ready for baptism and committed to follow all the commandments and live the gospel. They are getting baptized this Saturday, all three of them. We are currently teaching three little kids right now and they just believe with that childlike faith and trusting. Two are brother and sister, ages 9 and 12, and one other girl. It is great. They should be baptized also this coming Saturday. The other three are three people we are still working with but are improving. Hopefully we can get them going. Nu'utele is still working hard on his goal of not smoking and going to church. A lady named Litia is being hard to catch at home, she is working a lot and so we will have to try at night after one of our fafagas. Another one of Fesolai and Maria's daughters, Silia, is progressing as well we are teaching the third lesson this Thursday but she is still doubtful about some stuff and she smokes which is a problem. But she is accepting the lessons and asking many questions which are thoughtful and have been thought about by her before. Plus she is reading steadily in the Book of Mormon in English because she wants to improve her English and the Samoan translation is pretty bad. But I heard from Vaenuku that the triple combination and new translation is coming in June, so that should be good. There have been many missionaries looking forward to that so hopefully it still comes. I am still going strong in reading the Tusi A Mamona but I can't find as much time to read, we have been pretty busy.

Anyway it has been a pretty awesome week. Lots of things happened and lots of fun experiences with the zone as well. We have got to be the closest zone and definitely the coolest. We joke around with each other all the time and always have a good time when we are together. On Thursday after our meeting it was Vaenuku's last one so we ended the meeting at around 1:00 in the afternoon and stayed together for a little while and then ate. It was cool to have fun and make Vaenuku's last Thursday enjoyable. Seeing him go makes the time to be on a mission shorter than what it is feeling and I know it will be. I want to give it my all!! It has been great my first four months here in Samoa. Time flies by so fast. I can't believe it!! I love being here and can't wait till the day the language clicks to the point where I can talk and listen and have full conversations with everyone, hopefully in a month ha ha!!

Well that is the news for the week. I love you all!!! The work cannot be stopped it is continually progressing. I know this church is true and that it is led by a living and true Prophet, Thomas S. Monson. I know Jesus is the Christ and that He did atone for all of our sins. I know Joseph Smith restored the church and translated the Book of Mormon. I know it is true and the word of God. I love you all!! ou te alofa ia te outou!!!
Thanks for all the letters and support!!! Keep Strong!!! Do what is right!!!

alofa
Elder Cody John Walker