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

Monday, September 5, 2011

Still Working!!

Talofa Lava!! Sept. 5, 2011
Hey everybody! How is everything going??! YES! I heard BYU came back and won at the end that is a grand start!! Sweet, keep me updated though. What else is new? Any new news or anything, just wondering.

So this week was another working week with plans falling through and stuff that was not very fun, but got to keep the faith and keep working hard!! Yet again our lesson fell through with Manufotu and his family because Manufotu had stayed over in Upolu another week to get things finalized with the funeral of one of his sisters. So our lesson didn’t go through but we are hoping and praying it will work out this week. They are a good family and I want to teach and help them, but just use patience it’s what we all need. Anyway also we contacted another potential investigator this week his name is Toala Lepau and he was referred to us by his brother Mataafa Amosa. We went over and talked to him and he asked us to come back this week so we could all talk together with his wife there too, and he said we could start the lessons. So that’s hope there and we are also going to try and get a member there to help us. So here is the situation with that. Kind of funny but there are three different houses on this land right next to each other and Lepau and his family are Methodist, another part is Catholic, and then there is a couple that are LDS. It’s nuts but we did get a faamalosi lesson (strengthening) with the husband of the couple, Lemau (ya close name huh) and we also have another lesson set up with him again but with his wife too, Tinei. So hopefully when we go to teach Lepau, we can get the other two to sit in and help us.

We also received a pretty promising referral in Sili 2nd. I am excited, as she just moved here with her husband and the story I got from some of the family in the house is she wants to be baptized, she just has to receive the lessons. Her name is Tina and her husband is a member named Peni, so we are just praying and hoping so much that it all works out. We tried to contact her but she was sick so we couldn't find out the real story from her, but we did talk to two others at the house who had just been baptized in Upolu by two elders I know over there, which was cool and I think they have moved here to stay. Again hopefully we can get more lessons with a member there. They are the two who told me to come back next week and start the lessons. It has been quite a while since a baptism in Sili 2nd, but hopefully all works out with her, Tina.

Ummmm I have no other news, oh wait we did talk to two families --one whose house is right next to the church and another huge family that I think is probably half of the membership of the Catholic church ha ha!!! But ya they both invited us over to talk to them, and that will be this week as well. Oh a new update on Merita's mom, she is already baptized-- happened a long time ago. But she is attending church and liking it again and says she will continue going to this one as she has felt the happiness again. That was great to hear and she is such a funny and nice lady so it’s fun to go over and talk.

My comp gave his first testimony in Samoan the other day at the faamalosi lesson with Lemau so that was super good!! He did a good job too. He was nervous, but got through it and Lemau said he understood all of it! The gift of the Spirit is definitely evident!! Just like it says in 2 Nephi 33:1. Also with that thought, it was way cool last night at a fafaga we had. We are sharing spiritual thoughts (mafaufauga faaleagaga) at every fafaga which is good to do. Anyway at this certain fafaga were some members of a different church, so as I started I introduced the Book of Mormon and shared the scripture in 2 Nephi 25:26 about talking and testifying of Christ. Then I shared our purpose as a missionary (the sentence inside Preach My Gospel) and gave a rundown basically the first lesson with some other lessons combined in one. I could feel the Spirit guiding me and helping me as I kept quoting scriptures I didn't think I had memorized before, but they came to my head. It ended up being about a 20 minute spiritual thought, but I felt like it may have helped the lady maybe become interested with her family when they go back to Upolu. (they were visiting)

Well that is the update for the week; hopefully next week will be some exciting news of baptisms coming up and lessons coming together. I know this church is true though and that it is led by a living prophet. I know Joseph Smith is the Prophet who restored the church in its fullness to the earth. I know the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ and is true through and through. I know Jesus is the Christ. I know He is our advocate with the Father. His Grace is Sufficient. I know our Father in Heaven lives and loves us. I love you all!! ou te alofa tele ia te outou!!! Keep Strong!! Remember that!! Thanks for everything!!

Alofa atu
Elder Cody John Walker
Talofa Lava!!                                                               Aug. 29, 2011
Hey everybody!! How’s everything going!?! That’s exciting for all of you guys that college football is starting. Keep me posted on what’s happening and stuff. Hopefully BYU does well this year going independent and all and yes I do hope Utah does well in the Pac-12. That’s great, but Bryan from what Tori told me not so much drama ok. ha ha jk dude, but seriously!

Anyway this past week was a little frustrating but patience is a main thing that all people can work on right? We had a lesson set up with Manufotu Eli and his family we were prepping and praying and studying so we could have another great lesson and experience and... well...nothing. We tried on Tuesday but no go as Manufotu was working with another family prepping coconuts for the pigs, so we came back on Wednesday where the mom said that Manufotu was somewhere and also the mom had invited two missionaries from her church over, two older ladies to talk, so no avanoa there (opportunity). Then we tried again Thursday and I finally found out that Manufotu's sister had died in Apia and he was there for the funeral until Monday. So we rescheduled for the lesson tomorrow on Tuesday and we are praying/pleading all works out. I have faith and I know that the daughters at least one of them Lucia really wants to know more as when we meet her on the road she wants to talk and is happy to see us.

We also got another guy we are going to teach and a funny situation is after we talked to him on Saturday he came to church the next day. Well we were surprised needless to say and very happy but it was good for him to come and he attended the whole sacrament meeting!! Come to find out later from the Bishop, he is a leoleo (police) seeing who wasn't at church so that in the village meeting those who didn't go would get fined!! ha ha. ya it is against the law not to go to church here in Samoa!! Didn't know that was the rule in the village. It was cool, but funny and at least he came.
Also this past week we have been going around and giving some strengthening lessons to some ward members. It has been good trying to get people to stop smoking and still stay active in church, and also giving them the goal of the temple to look forward to. It’s been good and we have been doing some pretty good studies on it that I really liked.

Anyway that’s the update, kind of short as not much more happened. But I know the church is true. I know that it is led by a living prophet. I know the Book of Mormon is true. Jesus is the Christ. Go to Him. Believe Him (right dad) and He will help you and be there for you. All of us need patience; it is a Christ like attribute after all. Anyway I love you all. Keep Strong!! Trust in the Lord. His Grace is Sufficient. ou te alofa tele ia te outou!

Alofa atu
Elder Cody John Walker