Talofa Lava! Feb. 28, 2011
Well I first must apologize because the last week’s letter did not get sent!!!! MY BAD!!! I am still doing good though, so no worries! So first off for this week, MANUIA LUA ASO FANAU to My Awesome Mother on Sunday, and One of the Greatest Brothers Blake!!!! Happy Birthday and I hope they are great days for you both!!!! I love you guys!!! I hope all is good and everyone is doing awesome!!! Things here are still doing great and I am having a lot of fun doing the work of the Lord in Samoa!! It is a privilege and I am so grateful and so happy and blessed to receive.
This week has been a week of strengthening the less active (faamalosi atu). We were going to have a baptism, a little kid named Peni, but as we were teaching the third lesson which is on the gospel of Jesus Christ we asked him if he had been baptized, expecting the answer no or he had in another church. Well he surprised us by saying "Yes" he had already been baptized!!! It took us by surprise and we asked if he was joking or if he was telling the truth and he said yes I have already been baptized "Sa uma" (its finished)!! We asked where and he said in Malie, so we asked who the sisters were and he named them. Apparently the family he is living with didn't know he had been baptized and so they got us to start the lessons. I guess we will make sure they are not baptized first. So our lessons we had taught earlier in the week were counted for Faamalosi Atu numbers instead of lessons taught ha ha!! It was funny!! We ended up just finishing the lessons because he wanted to finish. Funny thing though, as we were teaching him he would be answering and involved but towards the end of all four lessons, he would start to nod off. Apparently he doesn’t ever sleep at night or something. Anyway he is a good kid and is starting to pray and will come to church he said. We are going to check the records and hope we find them after a good search.
Oh a great thing and blessing that happened to my comp and I is we were able to start lessons with this lady named Litia. She is the mom of Si'i who is married to Salu who lived in Leauvaa before getting married in December. So I knew him (her son-inlaw) before and he served in Arizona on his mission!! Anyway back to the story. Apparently Litia has seen many missionaries but never allowed them to start lessons because she just wasn't ready or didn't like them or what we don't know for sure. Anyway she said she has allowed us to teach the lessons to her and we felt blessed and humbled. She is a strong lady and is progressing just great. We are going to teach the last lesson on Tuesday and she came to church on Sunday!!! It was so awesome to see her there!!! We started teaching last Tuesday and taught her the second on Wednesday and the third on Sunday at the chapel. It’s amazing to see the change and joy and happiness. Oh in the third lesson I bore my testimony a lot on what my comp taught and said new things and it just felt so spiritual, and for the first time as I was bearing my testimony, and as she and my comp were talking I just started to tear up for some reason (I thought it was the fan- :), but as I sat there I just could feel the spirit and knew that was the reason!! It was a great experience for me. I loved it! I think she will probably be baptized this week. Just a great lady!!
We went on a split on Wednesday with Misiona, the ward mission leader in Faleasiu itai. We only went to one house in the time we had, but it was a great visit to a less active lady who was so happy to see us and told us how she knew this church was true and would try to come back. She was crying and knew we were sent at that time for a reason. The Lord knows all of His children and their needs and wants. What great love and a witness to all of us. We spent like two hours there but it was a good visit. Oh also that day we walked quite a bit and it felt good except I got sunburned pretty bad!!
That same day we were asked by Silia to come and answer some questions she was having about the Book of Mormon, so we went down there and started talking. She was asking more questions of specific things in the Bible about stuff in the Book of Mormon. One question was where is the name America in the Bible and I had to tell her it wasn't named America until later because of that one guy!! :) Another was where is Lehi's name and we had to tell her that it wasn't there and many other things that she just needs to pray about. Oh a question that was in the Bible is him telling of his visitation to the Nephites and Lamanites in ancient America the one in John about the other sheep and the answer by Jesus in third Nephi but she wasn't very convinced. But we bore testimony and ended leaving with not much accomplished for her, at least that’s how we felt.
There are good and bad experiences of every mission. Missions were never easy, I know that and have read about it and I have even been told to my face by an Apostle, Elder Holland in the MTC. Cory can be a witness of this, of when he said, “Salvation is not a Cheap experience”. So true, we have to work for it and that’s what we are doing. I am so thankful for the examples of dad and my brothers!!! They are so great to me!!! Also my friends on missions right now!!! It’s so great to hear of their success and their good examples to me. I love you all!! ou te alofa ia te outou!!! I know this church is true. I know we have a living prophet who leads and guides the church today, President Thomas S. Monson. I know Joseph Smith is a true prophet and translated the Book of Mormon. I know the Book of Mormon to be the Word of God. I know Jesus is the Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. I know that only through Him can we repent and return to live with our Loving Heavenly Father someday. Thanks for all the support and love!!! Keep Strong!!! Remember that!!! It’s so important!!
Elder Cody John Walker