Monday, January 16, 2012

New Year! Talofa Lava!

                                                                                                        02  Ianuali  2012

Dear Mom, Dad, and Family,
Hey Everybody!  Talofa Lava!  Malo Soifua!  O a mai outou?  I hope you had a great, awesome  New Year.  Welcome in the year 2012, goodbye to 2011.  I have got to say the year flew by.  This year I really didn’t want to come as it means the end of my mission in August.  I don’t want it to end.  I love my mission with all its ups and downs, twists and so on and so forth.  I can’t really describe my feelings with this, but know that I still love all of you and can’t wait to see you all again, but know that it will be so hard to leave here.  I just want to wish you all the best this year, sending my love to the Best Family in the world!  I love you all!!  Thank you so much for everything.
So I am writing this pretty late on Monday as our pday got switched to Tuesday.  It was an Aso Malolo (Holiday Observance day) for New Year’s Day.  But we have been helping Elder Funaki out as Elder Rodgers from my group had his appendix removed today and is recovering.  Scary thing is it was close to bursting and then did once he was in surgery.  President and Elder Funaki were there though and gave him a blessing and the doctors did well and he is all good now and is recovering.  Still keeping up the good attitude as always.  He is great and I really look up to that guy.  Love him to death and hope he is recovering fine.
This week was another busy one. We got  to have an actual rest/pday on Monday and I got caught up a little more on journal writing and scripture reading. But it was good to relax.  The sisters called needing a blessing so we went there and as always we are grateful for the opportunity and considered it a privilege to help them.  Sisters are stalwart, that’s all I have to say!
Tuesday we tried to go see A first but only got to talk to his wife as he was headed out to go somewhere to work. Always busy that guy.  Sometimes too busy to go to church or anything else.  Still working on that.  We are in the process of starting a Sunday School up in Muamoa where he lives along with many others who are investigating the church.  Also there are some less active members that could benefit from a closer church building.  It is quite a walk from Moamoa to the fale sa (church) in Alafua.  Like an hour or so, plus now it begins at 7:30 in the morning!  Right now the Stake Pres. is talking about it and is going to bring it up in the next stake meeting.  Next on our visits was to S.  We talked again about the Book of Mormon, but questions were coming from A this time.  She was really interested in our discussion and as we started on the second lesson she was all ears.  S also liked what he was hearing about the plan of salvation.  Then A’s husband woke up and came and joined the lesson and that’s where the teaching really stopped as he started dominating our conversation with questions to pry us and ya we answered them and tried to continue to teach, but he almost wasn’t going to let us.  A left right when he came in and S was just sitting back looking pretty annoyed, because my comp said that pretty much happens every time. He just comes in throwing questions or making statements to where there is no real progression in the lesson.  Just have to go back and try again.  T’s baptism had to be postponed again as he didn’t make it to church.  So we went to visit and let him know and kind of set a new date with him.  Oh forgot, even with all the distractions, we were able to invited S to be baptized and he accepted right away!  So now we just need to get him married and going to church.  After T’s visit, we tried to see B and I who were busy.
Wednesday was our zone’s turn with two others to paint a school, Ah Mu.  It’s a primary school.  It was a lot of fun; we get all the tedious little hard jobs.  It took us from 8:00 clear to 5:00.  It was a lot of fun and I got to know a lot more about some of the senior couples which was neat.  Also it’s always fun to joke around with the other missionaries.  That night at our fafaga, the father had two people over that weren’t members of the church and wanted to know more!  So after eating we taught them a little and challenged them to come to church and also read from the Book of Mormon.  That’s what we really hope out of any fafaga!  Members bringing others to church or introducing them to us, or both!
Next day on Thursday, we were busy with interviews for the Pesega elders in our zone.  I also had an opportunity that morning to interview the father of a family from Tuvalu and he was such a nice guy-steady and good.  After that we parked the car and walked all the way to Moamea to make some visits. First off was with F, but she rescheduled to Friday as she was busy with some family things.  Next was T and T and we expressed again the importance of the Book of Mormon and invited them to read that precious book.  We had pushed our fafaga to little later so we could do the interview afterwards and say goodbye to a girl at the house we stay at.  Our fafaga was at the Berbert family’s home.  Brother Berbert is the U.S. representative for the Embassy here in Samoa.  He travels all over the place and it was neat to hear about his work.  After the fafaga we returned to our home where the family was hurrying to get going to the airport as Moe was leaving to go to BYU in Hawaii.  She had served a mission in Australia and is a way cool girl.  She is already missed at the house. She was such a good influence on that family.  She is going to dance at the PCC (Polynesian Culture Center).  Tori when you go to Hawaii, you should look her up, she was a good friend.
Then we go to bed for the next day and ha ha, I swear Friday the 30th came and went in less than a second!  Busiest day of my life. Nah jokes, but ya, the dateline switched so we skipped Friday the 30th and went straight to Saturday the 31st, so we could be on the same day with Australia and New Zealand.   So we very quickly got to Saturday.  We moved Elders in Vailima to their house in Magiagi, that took all morning!  Then we ran to the office for some stuff before we got to our area.  The one visit we made was to a catholic family.   This lesson was good in helping us know more of a surety how together and complete and sound this church—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is. The guy we talked to for the most part was I think, some kind of a teacher, because he was more protecting his religion rather than teaching anything new.  We were just discussing some things and he was very on guard. He said the Catholic Church doesn’t use the Old Testament and only reads from it as guidelines.  So my comp just bore a strong testimony and we left with that, but he tried to invite us to come back to learn more from him.  Well we declined his offer and bore our testimony again before leaving.  We know our church is the one and only true church.  Our fafaga that night had a New Year’s/Birthday party for the Mom (grandma of the family) whose name is V.  The Dad is not a member, they are a good family.  Their daughter came form Utah to visit.  She went to BYU and is going back, and she lived in Wyview, too, where I was at before my mission.  She was cool to talk to as well.  Anyway we left early as they were partying till 12 and we needed to be home by 9:30.  Brother V cooked some amazing steaks for us for dinner.  Sister V’s brother from California visited with the family and it was neat to talk to him, too.
Sunday we went to both wards and had a good time at both. Our investigators from the fafaga came so that was good.  They enjoyed it.  Excited for Sunday school as it is focusing on the Book of Mormon this year.  Our fafaga was at the house we stay at, so that made it easy. I spent time studying and writing in my journal, and planning.
Well, I've got to go.  I love you all so much! Thank you so much for everything.  Time flies when you are in the work of the Lord.  Tyler is done!  Can’t believe it.  Next is Ross.  Wow!  I know this church is true.  The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion.  Out e Alofa Tele is te Outou!!  Keep strong.  Jesus is the Christ.  His grace is sufficient.  I love you all!  Write to me and keep me update!

Alofa Tele Atu,
Elder Cody John Walker

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