January 8, 2012Dear Mom, Dad, and Family,
What is up everybody? Been busy lately? I hope all is great and going well. Remember to always keep me posted. Have you decided on a name for the new little girl yet- Blake and Angela? Have Kendra and Trisha been giving you some good ideas?Well as I wrote in my last letter about Elder Rodgers and his appendix, turns out the drainage tube they had that was supposed to just slide out, didn’t! So he had to go in for surgery again after they tugged for a while, trying to make it slide out and it wouldn’t. He was good though, as the Hanson’s (the mission nurse and her husband) told us. He is now recovering again and doing great. We have been busy this week with ZL council the entire day on Wednesday. A lot of people were gone this week or busy and it has been hard to catch them. But through all of this, there were also small spiritual moments and blessings I noticed and am very thankful for.
On Monday, we had a ton of lessons fall through, with people busy and wanting to kafao (hang out) and play games. We set up times to come back and teach. Since Rodgers still recovering, spent that night at the office in the MRC with Elder Funaki. An added bonus was being able to have a hot shower the next morning.
Next day, I helped Funaki set up for a trainers/new missionary follow up meeting they were having. Elder Funaki was having to do everything himself this time without Rodgers. We helped as much as we could, setting up equipment and then my comp and I had to get going. We went through the day making purchases for other missionaries and dropping it off and doing all these other errands. That night we cooked pasta at one of the Sr. couple’s house, the Webers.
The next day, Wednesday, we had out zone leader council. It was good and we talked about setting goals and also getting people to the temple soon after they are baptized. Emphasized that this mission is part of the Lord’s mission and work and should be done the same as He would do. We had some of the Sr. couples also share messages. It was good and they emphasized getting the info out to the zones and doing so clearly and completely.
Thursday was our meeting with the zone and we got out the info to them and that took a little longer than needed, but there are people who sometimes talk longer than needed in meetings. Right? Did our reports and then dropped everyone off and went to our meeting with the APs. Rodgers sick again, so we were asked to teach a lesson for them to a girl going to be baptized next week. She is 10 yrs. old going on 11. They asked us to cover her reading of the intro of the Book of Mormon, teach her about baptism and the priesthood, so nothing too complicated. Only thing is she was comfortable with Rodgers and Funaki and then two new guys show up. She was shy and we had to ask direct questions to get her to talk with us. But luckily too, we had her Grandma there so that was a big help. We had planned that day to meet with P, but he had been called away to care of some family matters, so we rescheduled for next week. We visited with J and her family. We asked how she was doing and asked to see if she was still reading from the Book of Mormon and praying. She said she was, but no change from the boyfriend/husband. For some reason she doesn’t want to get married. He is mainly stalling, so she can’t be baptized. So ya, not so good there. Her kids are so fun and I love messing around with them and talking with them. Great kids. Then luckily, since our fafaga had fallen through, we have a great well of good families who have told us that whenever a fafaga falls through to give them a call. So we called Bro. N and his family and he said to come on over. He is from Australia and married here in Samoa. His wife is a news anchor down here on TV. A great family and so kind to feed us and take care of us. Fun family and fun to talk to. They showed us a DVD of the paintings of Liz Lemon Swindle in a slide slow while Kenneth Cope sang songs about Jesus Christ in the background. It was a cool thing and spiritual.
On Friday, we had to go back to the office, as my comp had rashes on his arms and needed to get something to take care of it. We parked the car that day and walked up to Moamoa. First tried to visit F, but not there, she was in town buying things. Next was to T and T, but as always, they were sleeping when we got there. So we walked up to A’s house and he was getting reading to head out somewhere. We talked with him about church and he thought since he had gone once, he could just be baptized and never really go back again. He shows no real desire to go to church. My comp told him he needs to go to church and show true commitment before baptism. We left and went over to S, but only A’s husband there, so we sat down to have a lesson with him and he just wanted to ask us questions to try to trick us and confuse us somehow in our beliefs. We used the Book of Mormon to answer all his questions and then left. That night the Hansons made us a wonderful home cooked meal, and afterwards we even had ice cream!
Saturday was great as I was able to help teach R again, but this time with Elder Funaki. This I have got to say was a privilege and blessed opportunity. Elder Funaki is one of the greatest teachers I know and he is able to connect with those people he teaches. We taught the Plan of Salvation and he had a book and we told a story having her (R), as the main part of the it. It was awesome. The spirit was so strong and R was taking it all in and loving the book and story. I learned so much from him and will try to emulate and use some of his methods of teaching. It was a good experience, that is for sure.
Sunday was a day for church, and R came which was very good. I love you all so so much! Keep strong. Love one another. Keep our family together and strong. Ou te Alofa tele ia te Outou. Love you all! The gospel is true, and remember Jesus is the Christ and He suffered for all of us. His grace is sufficient. God loves us all and families are the center of Satan’s attack. Be calm and reserved and always love. Thank you all so much for everything!Alofa Atu,
Elder Cody Walker