Thursday, March 1, 2012

February 6, 2012

                                                                                                                                                                                February 6, 2012
Dear Mom, Dad, and Family,
Hey Fam, how’s everything going?   Been snowing there lately, or no? I hope so, or else that may mean a very dry summer.  I hope you get some moisture or take some of Samoa’s rain, as it has been raining every day here nonstop. Well I mean clouded over constantly, not a day passes with no rain.  It’s been interesting to see the roads in town as their drain systems here aren’t working well so the roads flood and businesses have to have high steps for their entrances so their stores don’t flood inside.  Crazy stuff!
To answer your question mom about the Alofua Ward—Yes, they meet for sacrament meeting at 7:00 a.m., and since it gets light here at about 7:15, they all start out walking to church in the dark.  The ones who are faithful and diligent that is, they are having challenges in getting everyone there on time to begin sacrament meeting on time.  Going consistently to church is one of the hardest commitments for people to keep and when they do it is a giant step to baptism and reactivation.  Oh ya, sister K came to church with M and T and we set T’s baptism for the 18th as well as S’s.  So we are hoping and praying all goes well.  Sister Vui is doing an amazing job in helping her. Also sister V’s husband came to church and they told me he always comes on fast Sundays.   Better than not coming at all.
On Monday, we had a lesson with J; it was the second on the Plan of Salvation.  She loved it. That is such a key lesson in that the principle of a plan and how we can have a sense of direction and also know where we came from and where we are going after this life and it helps to know those things as we go through this life.  It is neat to see J light up and be happy as we are there and teaching her.  We are grateful for the opportunity to share the gospel.  It was great to be able to teach her again.
Tuesday was one of the greatest days as we had the opportunity to go to the temple (Malemulu Sa).   First we had training for two hours which was excellent with great topics discussed on receiving revelation personally, as a companionship and as a zone and doing all we can to do that.  Also it talked about working more with stake and ward leaders and getting people to the temple.  Also we discussed our personal weaknesses and just like the people of Ammon who buried their weapons of rebellion, we all wrote down things we can improve on then tore it up and threw it away in sort of a burial type and covenant basically to fix those things and become better.  Then after that, President Leota talked and shared insights on how many are called and few are chosen.  We then went to the temple for back to back sessions. 4:30 and 7:00 p.m., and it was grand.  The peace, comfort, silence and so much more, I can’t describe it, it was overpowering.  The spirit was in abundance as many others have said.  I wish I could describe all my feelings and the joy and peace that I felt when I went through, but just know the temple is the place!
We had another ZLC the next day and didn’t have a lot or as much covered this time.  It was still good and covered a lot of important issues.  The funny thing was about 5 or 6 zone leaders were from my comp’s group, and they will finish up on the 22nd of this month.  It was all great stuff though.
On Thursday we had zone meeting and covered business that was talked about in ZLC and also had a great lesson taught by Elder Sefo about one heart/ work together and it was applied to companionships and as a zone as well.  We visited Sister K and invited her to come to church again and bring T, and they came!  Also we taught J another lesson and it covered the baptismal interview questions to prep her for the next day with her interview.  It went well at first, of course she looked nervous but as we explained it wasn’t a deep down interview that would be impossible to pass, as a lot of people think that, but that it was just questions about the gospel and she knows about the gospel.  She felt better about it after we talked about it.  We then visited or tried to visit a less active guy and only were able to talk to his wife and invited them to church.
Friday was a packed day with a lot of baptismal interviews to be done.  It was a great week for our zone with 5 baptisms and one from the AP’s area.  Way awesome, and great work from the entire zone. We had planned that morning some visits but all of them got pushed back, although A gave us a for sure time to visit the next morning.  J passed her interview and Elder Sefo said she did very well. 
On Saturday we attended a primary baptism at 8:00 for the Pesega 5th  English speaking ward.  D B’s daughter was one who was baptized and it was special when he was able to stand in the circle when she was confirmed.  Good guy, and I can see him progressing even further. We went to visit him later.  He loves the missionaries and we love him and his family.  After the baptism, we went over and taught A about more commandments mainly the law of tithing, 10 commandments and following the prophets.  He was very supportive and happy to learn about how we pay 1/10 and that none of us it goes to leaders, but all to the building of the Kingdom of God.  We tried to show him how you can find and learn so much from the Book of Mormon and find how it talks about things as well.  Great lesson and he liked it.  Next was our planning and getting ready for a fireside in A on the 12th and also planning what to teach at the fireside we were helping with on missionary work on Sunday evening.  That led to our lesson to cover for the AP’s at S’s and we taught the 3rd lesson, on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  She is prepped and ready for her baptism on this coming Saturday. Also went to a meeting with Bishop Fiu of Alafua and showed him a rough draft of the fireside, so he could know what to plan for.  Then we went to J’s baptism.  This had to have been one of the best baptisms I have been to in my life.  It was beautiful.  The attendance was great. The young women sang a song and were there to support her. Her mom and two sisters were there.  One of her sisters was touched by the spirit and was crying when she saw J baptized.  She felt the spirit and loved it.  She also came to J’s confirmation the next day.  Another thing is none of her family are members, immediate family, and dad came to her confirmation the next day.  That was the first time he had come to church and said it was good and he liked it.  Her sisters ended up attending the other classes as well.  Great weekend! J was glowing and so excited for us to meet her parents. She wants this joy for her family, too.  Awesome stuff!
Sunday night we had a missionary fireside in the English speaking ward and President and Sister Leota as well as AP”s were there, too.  We taught a class.  Pres. Leota spoke and gave some great and inspiring remarks, talking about the work we are involved in and told those who are preparing to serve or who are serving to find out “why” I came and go fulfill that why!  He gave great tips and encouragement and counsel to some of the guys who are leaving soon on their missions.  He told then to gain confidence and to know that they can be successful with the Lord and go forward with faith.
Well that is the wrap for this week.  I know this church is true and that it is led by a living prophet under the direction of Jesus Christ who is at the head of this church.  I know God lives, and I know Jesus is the Christ.  I know that His grace is sufficient.  I know the Book of Mormon is true.  Families can be together forever.  I know that the temple is the house of God.  I love you all so much!   Keep strong! Ou te Alofa tele ia te Outou.       Thank you so much for everything!
Alofa atu,
Elder Cody Walker

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