Saturday, March 3, 2012

                                                                                                          February 12, 2012

Dear Mom, Dad, and Family,
Hey Family! How is everyone? I hope all is good and going just grand.  Keep me updated on my sister, brothers, sister-in-laws, nieces and nephew and their lives.  Thank you so much Mom and Dad for your letters.  Sorry to my brothers and fam for taking so long to write back.  I need to get on that.  Really busy, even on pdays.  Good stuff though.  We are helping to cover AP’s area as they have a lot going on there.  Their ward is exploding with referrals, it’s crazy.  But it is so good.  Wish our ward could get that fire as well, we are trying to set a spark and get that going. Just keep the faith and help out and it will get started.  Prayer and fasting also.

Funny thing first that happened on Monday is our ward mission leader invited us to lunch at this restaurant to talk about some things from the palagi ward.  Walked in and guess what was playing live on the TV…the super bowl.  Ha ha!  Since we are a day ahead, the Super Bowl was on our Monday. It was pretty funny and totally unexpected.  We saw just a little as we ate and talked. 
We finally got another lesson with F after a few weeks of not seeing her. It was a very rainy day on that Tuesday and let me tell you we had tried making other visits with F, but they fell through. But as we were walking to these visits, we got soaked completely through and then the little breeze didn’t help as it made it cold, but we survived and laughed about it.  What else can you do?  Anyway F’s lesson was good; we read a chapter from 3 Nephi the 27th chapter.  This chapter is always a good one to read together with investigators as it is Christ teaching when he visited the American continent.  F enjoyed it and could understand more of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Also Jesus Christ puts it in order in a sort of way that emphasizes enduring to the end on the path of righteousness to gain eternal life.  Great lesson.

If you remember I mentioned a Brother B and about his daughter’s baptism in the last letter. We finally got over to his house on Wed. to talk and give him a priesthood blessing to help him to quit smoking and drinking and prepare more to go to the temple.  We talked to him and he just explained so much about his life, saying he isn’t wanting to hide anything from us, but will tell us straight.  Great guy and trying to do what is right and he needs all the help and he is doing better.
We got called also on Wed. by the zone leaders in Upolu Central to help them do a lesson as well, as they would be in Zone Conference all day.  He gave us the info and we went over and he had asked us to teach about the Book of Mormon.  So we went and read what chapter?  3 Nephi 27 of course.  We knew that those are the most convincing words we can use, as they are those of Jesus Christ Himself.  The guy was great and his son was there as well and we had another great lesson and hope the best for those elders to get him and his son baptized.

Then came Thursday.  We had Zone conference, but this time up in Sauniatu.  3 Zones in all went up there.  It was a great conference with great teachings and some new things pointed out to us.  If you look at one of the new handbooks that the church has given out to leaders, there are some new things in there that differ or add to Preach My Gospel, which is something the President is bringing up quite often to emphasize that we need to constantly focus and use the “new” and work together with ward and stake leaders to help keep this work moving along at a steady but growing pace.  Remembering also the importance and significance of leaders and the keys they hold, as they hold the keys to the work in that area. All great stuff!  Also Pres. Leota talked about making our baptismal programs better as that program is so important.  The Aps explained and did a demonstration on putting on the armor of God each day, which means waking up on time, studying, praying, and all those things, so we are prepared to stand up against the adversary and all of his attacks.  Great lesson there as well!  Last thing we talked about was our goal of 3000 baptisms this year and how we are to get that goal and then keep them active.  It can be done and is being accomplished right now.  It is so great to see. All that in one conference.  Also got a lot of great pixes up there in Saunitu, it is a beautiful place!  Pres. Leota is an amazing man, very inspired and a great guy.
Next day was interviews with President Leota for our zone.  Another great opportunity to talk one on one with Pres. and talk about me and my mission and how I am doing and what I know that I need to improve on.  I love talking with him and he is such an inspired man.  He knows the right questions to ask to get me thinking and recognize where I need to improve. Also had a lesson with Elder Rodgers on listening in our lessons and applying the story of Ammon and how he waited for a full hour to ask another questions. After interviews, we had a lesson with a kid age 17 or so who has been going to church, and we had no clue he was not baptized, until his mom mentioned him to us.  She said they had always left it up to him.  He gets up for seminary early each morning and goes, and goes to mutual and all that stuff.  He knows almost everything about the gospel, but like most, has not read the Book of Mormon. So we challenged him to read it and think about what he needs to do.  His step-parents or the ones who took him in or adopted him are not members.  He is now staying with his parents.  Anyway we will continue to visit him and answer questions for him.  Great kid.
Saturday we had S’s baptism .  It was another great baptism with a really good turnout.  A good ward and they just keep giving more and more referrals.  Awesome!  The cool story came afterwards though.  We have the key that can unlock all the churches in our area and in the zone.  Well ends up that Rodgers and Funaki lost it.  After about an hour of searching for it we decided to pray and then after more searching and thinking, Elder Rodgers felt impressed to check one last place before we were to leave and he found it on the way in the grass.  A blessing and a gift from God.  That key is vital in many things that we need to do and right before we leave, we are able to find it.  Awesome!  We had a ton of other lessons planned that day and a lot of them fell through. We did set up a time with J and B for Monday and also a lesson with A’s wife, who is already a member, but less active.  We invited her to read the Book of Mormon.

I forgot to mention Elder Nielsen’s grandparents on his dad’s side came down as they had lived here 50 yrs. ago.  They got approval from Pres. to take us out to dinner.  With the dinner they had some entertainment.  Samoan dancing, singing, and even fire dancing (fiafia). It was great.  Really good people. 
Sunday at church, S came again and we got T’s baptism set up for Sat. After we went and taught a lady in the Ap’s ward as they were in Tutuila.  It was a great first lesson and she wants to get baptized, so maybe by the end of the month.  She accepted everything and didn’t have many questions.  A great week!

I know the church is true.  Jesus is the Christ and His grace is sufficient.  Joseph Smith is a  true prophet.  The Book of Mormon is true through and through.  President Monson is a true prophet.  God lives and loves us.  I love you all!!  Thank you so much for everything.  Ou te alofa tele mo outou.  Keep strong!
Alofa atu,
Elder Cody John Walker


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