Wednesday, February 15, 2012

1/29/2012

                                                                                                            January 29, 2012

Dear Mom, Dad, and Family,
Hey, Hey Hey, What’s going on family? Talofa Lava!  How is everything?  I hope all is good as always and I want to say I am doing great!  All is good here. Love my life now that I am not sick anymore. Yep, so that is going to start off this week’s letter…
It all started Sunday, when after church I started not feeling so well and at first I thought it was just the Indian food we had the night before, so I took some Pepto the next day and thought all was good.  But as we went through the day, my stomach was churning.  We had an appointment with S and had a good discussion about the pre-earth life. It was great and S liked all of it and said she wanted to continue it the next morning, as she was anxious to learn more about how we will live with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ again someday, if we are faithful and obedient and meet all the requirements.  Awesome! She is practically golden and had gone to church the week before and came again yesterday.  So that is twice in a row. She loves coming and knows quite a few people too. We also contacted a referral from the Aps.  It went great; the Dad was really receptive to all we were talking about.  After that lesson though, I had to head back to the office, as I was getting sicker. I saw the nurse, received a blessing and was hopeful that all would be good for the next day, but it wasn’t. I had to go in again the next day, Tuesday, and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong, so off I went to the hospital with guess who—Elder Boren. (from Vernal)  He got a pretty bad infection in his arm and he is not doing so well.  So we went together, where I got a recommendation to have two IVs pumped into me (for dehydration/nausea).  Elder Boren got shots to help his arm.  Then we both stayed that night and the next day at the MRC (mission recovery center).  We spent the day sleeping and trying to get well and talking about past times. Of course, I would rather be working, but it was fun to talk with him for a while.  Then I ate a little and went home.  Not a good idea.  About 2 a.m., I got so sick again.  No fun! I had to go back to the MRC.  Finally able to get feeling better and get back to work on Friday.  So glad to be better and able to do the work again.
On Friday, we had a busy day.  Did some interviews for two other areas in our zone, for baptism. We made a visit to someone we thought was a nonmember, as that what we were told, but found out she actually is a member from Sili.  We did get a great visit with Sister K.  We had asked her to read Alma 5 and she hadn’t yet, so we asked if we could read it together right then. She said yes, and as we read it we talked about the usefulness of questions as we read and how they make us think, especially the questions Alma asks in his writings.  They are straight forward and to the point.  After we finished, she said that it was nothing different from what the Bible says--- to be good, help those in need, keep the commandments, and so on. She was trying to tell us that the Book of Mormon is not needed.  As we talked though, she did mention how the Book of Mormon is clear and to the point in saying it. But like most people, she loves the Bible and only wants to read it. She started to go on the defense, so we left it at that for now. Sister K is a very charitable person, especially to the missionaries.  She is wealthy, but constantly helping.  We talked about tithing later and she mentioned how she sometimes thought her tithing was helping moneywise with others, but she knows the Bible says nothing to that effect, but just says to pay it. She knows what to do. We asked her to read the Book of Mormon and to pray about it, as it is scripture.  I told her the book is true and she will never prove it to be false.  Just like so many others that have tried, but cannot.  Before we left, she did ask us to pray for her stubborn self. She is a great lady.  We hope to be able to reactivate her and help her out.
This week, President and his assistants had 3 training sessions for zones and companionships in certain stakes to prep us as we were to teach the 5th Sunday lesson.  The president had presented it to the Stake presidencies in the 3 stakes and they loved it.  So President wanted it to be just right so he had us come in for training and also to receive counsel and guidance from himself and the APs.  The teaching was to help the members to become better at inviting and fellowshipping others. President Leota stressed teaching about TTIP and Follow-up method.  T-teaching, T-testify, I-invite, P-promised blessings, and Follow-up.  So we committed the members to invite a friend or family member to do something. Whether it was going to church, reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and other things like that. Also we committed them to become better at fellowshipping and they accepted, so now we will follow-up on them later.  President Leota attended our lesson at the English speaking ward, and he said it was awesome.  That makes us feel good and relieved that we had done it right. After church we had people come up to us to ask questions and ask for help.  We were happy to see that and that they were actually thinking about it.
Well that’s a wrap of another week here in Samoa in Alafua.  I know this church is true and the only one that has the fullness of the gospel on the earth.  I know Pres. Monson is the living prophet on the earth and he is the mouthpiece of the Lord who is the head of this church.  The Prophet Joseph Smith did restore this gospel through the gift and power of the priesthood.  God lives and he sent His Son, Jesus Christ to atone for the sins of the world.  He loves us more than we can comprehend. Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God.  The Book of Mormon testifies of Him and it is true.  Remember Always---Keep Strong!  I love you all!!  Alofa tele atu mo outou.  Thank you all so much for everything.

Alofa Atu,
Elder Cody Walker

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            January 22, 2012

Dear Mom, Dad, and The Family,
Malo lava le Soifua!  What is up family?  How’s life treating you?  Hopefully all is good and going great for all of you.
On Friday of last week, we got to attend the baptism for Rhonda, the girl the Ap’s were teaching and that my comp and I had opportunity to also teach a few lessons. It was awesome to see it and she was so happy and excited. She was baptized at another church building in Tulaele where she is used to attending church and wanted to be baptized there, but she lives in the Ap’s area. The other elders in the Tulaela area had a family with kids to also be baptized and one other girl as well.  President also came to it and it was a great service.  The only problem that came up was that nobody had the key for the gate to the baptismal font, so luckily it was low enough that they hoisted all the people being baptized over the gate.  Ha ha. They were all smiles though as that situation was rare.  President taught all the kids very well as he explained the five parts of a testimony.  It was great!  It was a privilege to be able to go.
We had a hectic week this week, with transfers, and a new incoming group from the New Zealand MTC, so that made it even more crazy. My comp was sick from Sunday night to Tuesday, so I needed to do all the running around, and pick people up and drop them off.  Since Monday was transfers, they put the day to buy things for the zone to Tuesday, to give as sort of a break as Monday was busy the entire day with the transfers.  On Wednesday, we were on a split with Asaasa the entire day and it was raining and as we went around to our appointments, they all fell through, or the people weren’t home.  We did get one good visit to R K and her daughter D. Sister K hadn’t read very much in the Book of Mormon, saying she starts to read and then gets all these questions and stops. She says she can’t focus at all. I wanted to say that’s Satan, but she actually brought it up.  She knows she needs to read—no excuses.  We gave her the chapters in Alma 5-7, which are good for less-active members to read. We told her the 5th chapter was especially long, but it is a great chapter and we would cover it with her when we came back the next time.  She agreed to read it and also asked about our dinner plans that night. We had received come money and told her we were taken care of for the night.  She said that since Elder Asaasa was getting transferred to Tutuila tomorrow (she had taken a liking to Elder Asaasa as he is Samoan and a great guy) so she insisted on taking us out to a nice Italian restaurant in town. She is a great lady, just has some weaknesses as everyone does.  It was great food, too.
Thursday was busy again, bringing people to leave for travel to Tutuila and also get training most of the day.  That night we also had a meeting with the Stake Presidency and Bishops.  The Aps and President were also there and we had a little training. There was training and an example of teaching for us as missionaries as we will be teaching the information to the members this Sunday, the 5th Sunday combined meeting.  It is to help members in inviting people to hear the gospel and also in befriending new members and those who are less active as well as those who are investigating the church.  It should be good.
We had been asked by the Aps to teach a lesson they had set up with an investigator.  We said of course, as those two are super busy and still are all the time. It was a lesson with an 18 yr. old girl who has been going to church pretty regularly and wants to be baptized.  We taught her the first lesson.  It went alright, but we hope to have more understanding with the next lesson. She has really never been taught or read the bible, so everything was very basic. Thing that is great is she feels the church is true and wants to be a member, but knows also that she doesn’t know very much and that is why she likes the lessons, so that she can understand and learn more.  She was good though and said she would read and pray about the Book of Mormon.
We had a great faiamalosi (strengthening) lesson with a less active man in Alafua ward.  He came right out in explaining his problems with the church and how the people inside are hypocrites and don’t practice what they preach. He of course is just like a lot of people, looking at the faults of people which are sometimes hard to ignore.  We taught him that the church is perfect, but the members who have callings and such are not perfect. We challenged him to read the Book of Mormon.  We are going back this Saturday and hope to read from the Book of Mormon with him.
We also went to visit this less active girl in Vilimaa name V. but ended up just talking to the mom.  The last time we had visited with her and her mom.  V’s situation is that she is the only member in her family, the rest being Seventh Day Adventist.  The first time we had visited there about 2 or 3 weeks earlier, there was an elderly man, the dad of V’s mom who was very sick, and when we returned, we saw a new just barely dug grave in the yard and came to find out it was her mom’s dad who had passed away.  We were surprised and so as we talked to the mom we gave some thoughts of courage and told them how families can be together forever through God’s plan and also about temples and she was actually very receptive.  We will be going back to teach more about the gospel, and hopefully all goes well.
Sunday was good! S came to church!  For the first time, and she enjoyed all of it.  She is married now and for 2 or so months has been getting her life set to move to Australia to live with her husband.  B also came and U, so that was a good week!
On Saturday we had been given money again for our fafaga and so went to eat at a restaurant that served Indian food.  Way good, but all of Sunday and today I have been sick to my stomach.  Not fun! Had to get some pepto from the office to survive.
Well that is a wrap for this week. I have to get going. I love you all so much!   Thanks so much for everything.  I know the church is true with all my heart. I know President Monson is called of God and holds all the keys to lead this church.  I know Joseph Smith is a prophet and that he was chosen to restore this church to the earth. I know the Book of Mormon is true and is another testament of Jesus Christ.  I know Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. I know He atoned for our sins and His grace is sufficient for all.  I know God lives and loves us.
Ou te Alofa tele ia te outou!
Faafetaimomea Uma!   Keep strong!  Love you all!

Alofa Atu,
Elder Cody John Walker