Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Talofa Lava Uso ma Tuafafine!!!

Talofa Lava Uso ma Tuafafine!!! June 27, 2011

Hey everybody how’s everything going?!? I hope all is great and dad had a grand celebration of his special day and he deserves it. Manuia Lou Aso Fanau Tyson!! Happy Birthday bro, I hope its great man. All you guys are getting super old haha. You can't hit me, I am thousands of miles away ha ha!! Just reminding you that’s all but ya I still love you all remember. I won’t say that about getting older to my sisters-in-law or my sis, but ya I could get in trouble there. Anyways I hope it’s a good day Tyson and you enjoy the pizza as that is a rarity over here.

Well first off to start this email on the update, we had two days Tuesday and Thursday where we spent all day PAINTING! It was such a huge project, painting two schools every inch of them!! The one on Tuesday was a two story school and there was so much paint it was insane. The two other zones besides ours in Savaii actually had to go back on Wednesday to finish up the project. Our zone is just on the complete opposite side of the island and also my comp and I needed to finish up the lessons that week for our baptism that Saturday so that was good to have a day break in between. The fale aoga (school) on Thursday we were able to finish in one day with all three zones working and also people from the village (nu'u) helping so it made the work go by faster, but it still took the whole day!! But we had fun and made it fun by joking and keeping talking and singing too and cracking jokes and stuff to keep the spirits high. Nearing 4:00 we were finishing up and people just started slapping the paint on the outside wall and spreading it out it was so hilarious. The school is practically all cement and cinder blocks for the walls and stuff so painting was harder to fill in holes and paint cement and stuff, but we did it. It was good too because the au paia (ward) closest and others fed us each day like twice, with good food that wasn't cheap to provide. That was generous and so a good opportunity there to also get to know all the missionaries on the island because a lot of them I haven't seen in awhile or never met before. Awesome times!!

So ya as I said earlier in that paragraph there we had a baptism to work towards this week and it did work out, but on Sunday morning at 8:00. But any time is a good time to have a baptism. The night before the bishop in Papa had been busy so we weren't able to do it then. Oh ya the baptism is a guy named Fotu and he is an amazing guy just so strong and wanting to be baptized. We just had to finish up his lessons on Wednesday and Friday before his interview, just two lessons left. On the one on commandments he told us how he like so many others I have told you about had been a smoker previously but had talked to the bishop three weeks ago and the bishop told him he needed to stop and he quit right then and there and has never smoked again!! I am just absolutely amazed at how they can do that. Strong Examples. So ya we had the baptism on Sunday morning and his confirmation as well right after in church which started at 9:00 so that was great. We are planning and teaching three more people this week to be baptized this Saturday as well, so just keep on working.

Now on to the sad time of this mission, but also a new experience. As I have read Cory's and Tyler's emails sounds like it is happening the same time to all of us. Our much loved Mission President, President Haleck finishes this Wednesday and President and Sister Leota arrive then too. It is a sad time as I have learned so much from him and owe a lot to him for the missionary I am becoming and how his example has affected me in my life. He is such a great man and will do amazing as a seventy. I will miss him but life goes on and now is the chance to welcome President Leota and continue working with him as I did with President and Sister Haleck. Also today my dad in the mission goes home, Elder Miller. Miss him too and he started out my mission great. And last but definitely not least is the Eves the senior couple on houses and cars and other things like that related. Just a group of great and amazing people I will never forget.

Well that’s the update. I’ve got to get going. I love you all so much!! I know this church is true. I know the living prophet on the earth right now is President Monson. I know Jesus is the Christ and He suffered for all of us and has felt all of our pains. I know the Book of Mormon is true. Joseph Smith translated it and also restored the church to the earth. Keep Strong!! Remember that!! Ou te alofa ia te outou!! Thanks so much for everything.

Alofa
Elder Cody John Walker

Monday, June 20, 2011

TRANSFERRED!!

Malo Soifua!!!! June 20, 2011

I GOT TRANSFERRED!!! Oh ya I went to Savaii, the other island. It is the biggest island and the least populated. I had been only on Upolu, the same zone too, for the whole time so far. I am now in Sili and it is an awesome transfer, we could be having baptisms consistently each week for the next four weeks or so or prepping people and teaching them. My new comp is Elder Pedersen and he is from Utah and he has 8 months left in his mission (the same mtc group as Aloi) and a good worker we will do great together! Oh first off I have to apologize to my Dad about not wishing him a Happy Father's day last email and to baby Hailee for my fluke in not saying Happy Birthday! Sei faamagalo mai faamolemole. Father's Day here in Samoa is in August so that’s kind of different and I wasn't thinking it is still the same in America. But Dad count on a letter in August for the Samoan Father's Day ha ha!! Sorry about that. But Dad you are the best dad out there and deserve a great day, not just yesterday but every day. I love ya and I know you know that. Thanks for everything. Faafetai mo mea uma. I hope Hailee got my letter. It has been a crazy week!

So ya like I said a crazy week starting Monday when I got the call from the AP at seven saying to prep my stuff I am taking the 4:00 boat to Savaii the next day and being picked up at 12:00. What a surprise. I had been in my second area Lemoli for six months and now I am switching islands. So that night and the next morning I was faamavae(ing) people in that area and saying goodbye and it was sad. I miss that area and the people that are there for sure. Especially the one family of Fiti and the bishops and so many others as well. Got pix taken and finally one with Silia from when my camera broke with her baptism. I didn't get one before, so that was good. Then I left and the Eves picked me up (a couple who will finish with President Haleck) and it was fun to be with them for a little, because I won't see them again for awhile. They even bought me lunch. Then I took the boat at 4:00 with four other elders all going to Savaii. I didn’t get seasick either just to let you know ha ha!! Oh ya it was a huge boat by the way. Anyway it was great and Elder Johnson from my group was one of them and he is now in my zone too. We got to Savaii in about an hour, and I was picked up and dropped off in Sili to go with Elder Pedersen.

It has been quite a week and ended just awesome with 5 baptisms that I had the opportunity to perform as well. We finished up the lessons with a guy named Sile (Wesley) and four kids. Two girls--Laveiafaloa and Nancy and two boys-- Sagalala and Sefilino. It was just an amazing start to a new area. It was good to have Elder Pedersen getting me used to the area too. All these people are so great already, especially our two ward mission leaders who are both returned missionaries too. One of them from this mission and another from the Philippines. Just awesome right now and for awhile just working with referrals. Great great area to replace my last one! I still don't know everything yet and what goes on over here but I will soon. I am just doing great and loving it. The wards are packed as we saw yesterday for Sili 1st and 2nd. We also cover another ward called Papa but only thing is it is closed to missionaries to proselyte, only time we can teach is if we are invited. So kind of a difficult one there.

There is the update. A lot has happened and more this week as well. But yes it is still going forward, this work with the help of the Lord of course. None of this would happen without that I testify of that. I know this church is true and the only true one on the earth. It is led by a living prophet President Thomas S. Monson. I know that Jesus is the Christ and at the head of this church. He is our Savior and Redeemer and only through Him is the plan of Salvation possible. The Book of Mormon is the Word of God and another Testament of Jesus Christ. I know God is our Loving Heavenly Father, more than we can comprehend. I love you all and hope all is well. ou te alofa tele ia te outou!! Faamanuia le Alii ia te outou! Keep Strong! Remember that!!

Alofa
Elder Cody John Walker

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Faafetai ona Au Paia!!

June 13, 2011

Talofa Lava!!
Malo Malo Malo Lava!! Ua?!? Hey everybody how’s everything going? I hope all is well still and going great, sounds like everyone is living up the summer and having a great time. I heard also from Aloi there have been some floods I hope not too bad and people are ok and stuff but it seems to be pretty big stuff now. So camping and traveling and so much more, thanks for the updates they are great and I love them.

So this week went great and as my title says thank you to the Au Paia (Ward Members)!! The wards in Lemoli are just so awesome and just keep continuing to help us and give us more and more people to teach and baptize its great! Just yesterday on Sunday we received three more kids so that brought our plans of two more baptisms this week to five!! Just awesome!! Their names are Toetu (the girl) and Siaosi and Iu (the two boys and that’s an I not an L too) and also tomorrow the ward mission leader from Lemoli Lua is going on a split with us in the morning to show us a family to teach and baptize, so the work just keeps going which is such a blessing and awesome. Anyway ya so always good to get help and the ward is a great tool to show and introduce missionaries and be a friend to the converts and stuff.

We had three baptisms this last week on Saturday. Two in Lemoli Muamua and one in Lemoli Lua. Lesina and Tilau in Lemoli Muamua and Maanaima in Lemoli Lua. I was able to baptize Lesina and Tilau and it was a great experience and fun as well. My comp Touli performed Maanaima's baptism and it was funny as the Ward Mission Leader was the only one there to conduct the service and preside at it too, as none of the Bishopric were there. Crazy and the first time I have seen that happen but it went well and no problems. It was a great day and another awesome experience!!

Also this past week we had a three day split from Thursday to Saturday with Aloi while Sua went with the other zone leader with a car from Nofoalii, Mariner. It was fun and Aloi is a great guy. Way cool and fun to talk too! Just a sad thing but not to worry all is good and stuff but the car kind of wrecked when a bus took off the front bumper and stuff in Aleisa yesterday as he tried to turn by a blind spot on the road. So ya but no one was hurt and no charges I wasn't there but just heard about it when Aloi called me but ya he’s ok and so is Sua just lucky and blessed!

Things are going great though and I am loving my mission and loving this area. I know this church is true and is led by a living prophet today, President Thomas S. Monson and he holds all the keys of the Priesthood and leads this church. I know Joseph Smith restored the church in its fullness to the earth. I know the Book of Mormon is the Word of God and another Testament of Jesus Christ. I know Jesus is the Christ. I know He atoned for all of our sins. We have a loving Heavenly Father and we can and should pray to Him every day at anytime and He will hear us.

I love you all. Ou te Alofa ia te Outou. Keep Strong!! Thanks for everything!! Faafetai mo mea uma!!

Alofa
Elder Cody John Walker

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A GREAT WEEK FOR LESSONS!!

Talofa Lava!!! June 6, 2011

Hey everybody! How are all of you doing? The pix are great and sounds like it was a blast two weeks ago with all that stuff and the trip. Great to hear you all are having fun and hanging out and enjoying each other. Thanks for the news and pix and everything.

This week has been super busy yet super good for our area at least in the two Lemoli wards. The Faleasiu itai ward we will try to go and proselyte, but we are just having so many lessons and success in the other two wards. I guess it is harder that the Faleasiu building is being redone so we don't attend their ward as they go to a different building kind of far away, but ya anyways like I said it has been fantastic this past week. My comp and I have been teaching lessons nonstop and by the way, the lessons are different by discussion so us getting a total of 11 lessons this past week is pretty good, but way blessed as well from the Lord and I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve here and am being helped every day. So ya we first off finished up the lessons with Visesio and also got his tusiga (papers) for his and his wife’s marriage which has to be done before he can be baptized. Oh and let me just say they have will power and great control over their lives as when we taught about the word of wisdom he asked us how long he would have to wait to be baptized if he stopped from that moment for the rest of his life!! Just amazing I thought that most smokers or drinkers would be difficult investigators to stop but they just get rid of it and never pick it up again just so cool! Also he is in Lemoli Lua (2nd) and at the same house or group of the same family there is another toeaina (elderly man) living with the Tama of the Family, Apulu Ini, who we have no record of his baptism so have started the lessons with him and will baptize him this next Saturday. His name is Maanaima and a great guy and it is also nice that Apulu sits in and helps us with the lesson as those two just sit and talk and play cards all day together so they are really close.

Now on to Lemoli Muamua (1st) where we should have three baptisms this next Saturday as well. First off is Lesina who is about 18 and one of the best investigators as far as answering questions and knowledgeable in this gospel before we started lessons. We only have the last lesson left to teach this week, but as the first three went it was just grand. She answers all of our questions and asks us good ones in return. She reads and prays and keeps the commitments and is just progressing so great. Next is a loomatua (elderly woman) who also has no records so we are giving her the lessons and will be baptized this next Saturday as well. She is partially deaf so in her lessons we have to yell a little but she is such a sweet old lady who absolutely loves me and respects us both so much. What was really touching is the last two lessons when she is thanking us she has teared up and cried a little just loving us visiting and being with her. Her name is Tilau and just great!! One more lesson with her too. Last but not least is a kid named Tanielu who we haven’t met yet but will contact him tomorrow and hopefully get all the lessons in and baptize him on Saturday. It’s just that simple and fun he is a younger kid so they just listen and do whatever we ask them to do and their parents help us out to do the lessons whenever. Oh also in this ward we have Senerita and Alofa's tusiga for their baptism done too on Saturday so ya great there.

On Thursday something really neat happened. We met people in Sauniatu from nowhere else than Utah!! And the guy’s son who we talked to and I also met was from good old V-town Vernal! Quite a coincidence there and probably the only time it would happen. Just cool story there. The family had come to baptize their adopted 8 year old Samoan boy in Samoa so that was pretty neat as well. (Quick note --Bro. Dotson, the grandfather who lives in Cedar City and was there for the baptism, called me to let me know he had lunch with my son and he was doing well and was so very happy.)

Lastly, on this week, yesterday we had stake conference but it was a broadcast to all the stakes in Samoa and the Tahitian Islands. The speakers were Elder David S. Baxter of the Seventy, Elaine S. Dalton, Elder M. Russell Ballard, and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. It was such an amazing conference and a lot of it was on missionary work and being loving in the family. Very spiritual and almost like General Conference. Loved it and was lucky to be here and attend it. Blessed I should say!!

Anyway I’ve got to go. Love all of you!!! I know this church is true and that it is led by a living prophet today President Thomas S. Monson. I know Joseph Smith is a true prophet and that he restored the church to the earth. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and we should be reading it every day!! I know Jesus is the Christ and as President Uchtdorf and others have put it He is at the Helm of this church. He is our Savior and Redeemer. Ou te Alofa Tele ia te Outou. Keep Strong!!! Remember that!!! Thanks for everything. Have a great week!

Alofa
Elder Cody John Walker