Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April 9, 2012




Dear Mom, Dad, and the Family,

Well, changes just keep coming and all kinds of stuff comes up that keeps me very busy.  I guess I need to ask first off—how is everybody?  How are things going?  Keeping busy, but good, too? (good meaning healthy and safe).  I hope all is good and I love you also very much!  Keep me updated on everything.

K, now to the news.  First off, it was transfers this week, so we were expecting the call on Saturday night, so when it came, my comp—Elder Malaga answered and he got the news.  First off, I got the news that I am staying here in Alafua which I was super excited about, and my comp was going to be the new AP.   Elder Malaga is the man, love that guy.  My new comp is Elder Ormsby from Provo.  So another companion.  Cool thing is Elder Ormsby was trained by Elder Malaga.  Elder Malaga just completed a year, and Elder Ormsby is on 8 months of so. He is a good kid.  So that’s what happened.  The rest of the zone is training and also others moving on.  Elder Rousseau is in the zone, that should be fun. But ya, that’s the big news. Just keep moving on. Elder Malaga was a great companion even though it was only for 3 weeks.  I am excited for Elder Ormsby and the work we can do.

So this weekend started off eating in the Palagi ward, Pesega 5th ward.  I already feel fat a little bit!  Food here is so so good.  Anyway Andrew, our ward mission leader had set us up to eat with nonmembers.  Both families were Indian, who moved here from Fiji.  Also we are eating with a Fijian family on Wednesday. Great opportunities for missionary work.  The first Indian family was S and P and we shared with them about the family and the Proclamation and how it is so important in this church and also gave them a copy of the Book of Mormon, P actually telling us that she would read it, before we would come back next week.  Crazy cool.  We had a good discussion. The other night was back to R and S and mostly talked to S and scheduled next week to go back and talk more.  Awesome people, hopefully can help them find Christ and God.  Love talking to them.

We got a new investigator in Alafua ward named M.  She is golden. It was a referral and we finally were able to sit down with her and it was sooo awesome.  Her younger sister is a member and has been a very good example to M, and in fact M cried while explaining it.  She loved the first part of the first lesson and we also got her to pray after which took a little bit, in fact I prayed to show her, then she prayed, too. 

We had zone leader council and it went well.  We had discussions which were continued into our zone meeting.  Some wanted to talk about pday again and trying to change it back which won’t happen until we are a completely obedient mission. That is all President is waiting for.

We also got out first investigator and taught our first lesson in Vailima. His name is W and he is set for baptism on the 21st of this month.  He is a cool kid and is already strong.  He understood all of the first lesson, also getting his question answered concerning whether we worship Joseph Smith, which is a NO.  But he is good and all set now.

We had a great visit with P. W. and his wife and Pres. and Sister Leota came, too.  Awesome! His wife opened up and asked the question—“Why are we are so committed to our religion?”.  So we explained and Pres. Leota invited them to learn more, and they accepted!  So ya, they were so great to us and feeding us so so well.  I could feel the spirit so strong and his wife was just so attentive.  Love them! Can’t wait to go back.

Also had some caroling for Easter, it was good.  We went to different areas and sang to people giving them a DVD.  I think it is a good thing.  Just get right out there singing, give the DVD and then leave without speeches.  We want people to feel the spirit, no culture needed.

That is a wrap.  I have to get going. I know the church is true and God lives and loves us.  Jesus is the Christ.  President Monson is a true prophet.  I can’t wait to watch conference this weekend—the 14th and 15th, when it will be replayed for us.  Miss seeing it live.  The Book of Mormon is true. Love you all.  Alofa tele atu me outou.  Keep strong.  The gospel is true.

Alofa atu,
Elder Cody John Walker                                                       

Monday, April 23, 2012

April 2, 2012


                                                                                  April 2, 2012

Dear Mom, Dad, and the Family,
Hey everybody!  Wow time flies, I can’t believe all this news I am getting.  How is Ross doing now that he is back?  Ask him if he got my last letter (I sent it back in July or August) explaining to him that I have not proselyted in American Samoa.  But that is how mail gets to us. (Sometimes rather slow).  I can’t believe all those guys are finishing up. Kinnon first (the lovebird is getting married before I get back), Tyler, Ross, Munk, & Parker, right?  Crazy stuff.  Right now, I am so loving my mission and don’t want it to end.  Anyways how are you all doing?  Good I hope.  Things are awesome here.
This week we tried to so some contacting of referrals we got and one is for sure starting lessons, but the other two, we haven’t quite gotten a solid contact with.  Good thing is one that’s for sure and we’ve set up lessons to teach, is with Valima where we have had absolutely no work at all.  Also working to get some in Magiagi.  Hopefully start that this week.  I’ll have updates on these next week, but ya, that was a thing we are really trying to improve on—contacting referrals fast!  Also have been having weekly meetings with ward mission leaders together with Bishops if possible.  That is so important.
Update on S is we got to talk to her at Sister A's house. She is still doing well, she just got a temporary visa to go to Australia and visit sometime soon.  She can go whenever she wants.  She still comes to church steadily, and is working to completely be able to quit smoking. Just happens when she gets really stressed she says.  She needs to keep strong and be around the right people.  She is golden and I know she will be baptized.

Institute lessons are sill going great.  We had kind of an intense moment when I sparked a comment from a Catholic girl when I taught about the Great Apostasy.  But she listened and asked a great question and was very acceptive, wanting to learn.  I love teaching that class and with help too from Malaga, it’s great teamwork.
We had a great first lesson with L, a guy who is investigating in the Alafua ward. He was open and said at the moment it’s hard to believe Joseph Smith’s story of the first vision, but he will give it a try.  He said he has had a lot of questions from attending church and likes it but is happy to begin learning more.  I was really happy with that lesson.  I felt the spirit and had help from the Afualo family where the lesson was at, just good all good.  He will be in Savaii for Easter break this week, so we can’t meet with him until next week.
Big story for this week is we got to help another zone, Upolu North, to do the TTIP and Follow-up and Fellowshipping teaching for their stake and our zone got to go to the branches over in Fagaloa.  It was so much fun.  Cool thing is my comp and I covered Lon, the branch that Sister Logo goes to if you remember her from the start of my mission. Ya, her dad is the branch president and since we got there sooner than expected, we chilled at their house and drank some Koko Samoa.  Awesome branch there!  They accepted all that we taught, practiced it, and had a good time.  Funny part is we asked for the Family History coordinator and this blind guy says, “She’s dead.”, when the lady is sitting right next to him. So she stands up and says she is here.  He then says, “Wait, I just said you were dead!”  So I said to him, “looks like she is back from the dead.”  It was funny, I love it.  The village is right by the ocean and the pixes and views were amazing. I will have to show them to you all.  So Awesome!
That’s a wrap.  I have to go.  Hopefully more news next week.  I love you all!  This church is true.  The only one. God lives and loves us.  Jesus is the Christ.  President Monson is a true prophet.  Joseph Smith is the prophet of the restoration.  The Book of Mormon is so so true.  I know it with all my heart.  Temples are awesome. So important.  Alofa tele atu mo outou.  Keep strong.  I love you all so much!  Thanks for everything.
Alofa atu,
Elder Cody John Walker


Thursday, April 19, 2012

March 25, 2012

                                                                                         March 25, 2012

Dear Mom, Dad, and Family,
Talofa Lava! What’s going on out there?  Malo le faamalosi. Malo foi le tau. Thanks so much for everything.  Can’t thank you guys enough, but also can’t even come close to thanking our Heavenly Father for everything He has done, most importantly sending His Son to be our Savior.  I know God lives, I know He loves us.  Out of all things, His greatest is you and me.  (meaning everyone on the earth).  I know Jesus is the Christ and our eldest brother. He was chosen before the world was created and we chose Him as did all who come to the earth and gain a body.  He came and showed us the way to live to return back to Him.  Not only that but He set up His church. But let’s not forget the most important thing and that was the Atonement including His suffering in Gethsemane, crucifixion and Resurrection thus providing if possible for all of us to repent and eventually be resurrected after we die and if we are righteous and keep strong to the end then we will gain eternal life. That right there as it says in D&C 14:7 is the greatest of all the gifts of God and is only possible through our Heavenly Father and His sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.  Sometimes when life gets hard or troubles come and I think people, me included, get too focused on that and that’s when I came up with “ZOOM OUT”. Look at the Big Picture and remember this life is but a flash compared to Eternal Life.  We need when trials come, to “Zoom Out” and remember the big purpose and will of God and that is to return to Him and become like Him.  We only do that as we keep God’s commandments and take upon us Christ’s name, always remembering Him.  All commandments all the time!  I am not perfect but strive to be. 
Now on to the report of the week.  We got a little busy with other things with the President, so I had to rearrange our schedule and other appointments.  When Pres. Leota heard that my comp and I had received an opportunity to follow up on the “TTIP and Follow Teachings” and also “Fellowshipping” at the Stake leadership meeting on Thursday, he wanted us prepped and ready to deliver a good message.  We met with him Tuesday along with the AP’s  to go over what we are going to talk about.  Then on Wednesday, he had us practice so we could have  a demonstration.  Also we were practicing so we could keep our message at 10 minutes as that is how much time was designated from the Pres. of the Stake.  It was good and I like how President helped us to prepare for it so we could get across what we wanted and do so in organized and prepared manner.  APs also were  a big help and when we did our part at the actual meeting, they came.  President Faalogo of the stake seemed happy afterwards and said thank you for our message and follow-up even mentioning it in his talk.  Think it went pretty well.
That Tuesday night also we went with APs and President Leota to have a meeting with another Stake presidency and go over those same teachings as the Stake president wanted it done in his stake on the first Sunday in April.  We got to watch the APs go over it again and then as they have a lot of branches in the Stakes, our zone is going to help out that stake and one that covers it in teaching. It should be fun.  Also Pres. got invited really quick to give a brief message to the mission prep class and that was cool.  Quite a few people in that stake.  He did a good job at emphasizing looking always toward the temple.
We still are teaching our Institute class and may even add another one for new people who aren’t members, like an investigators class or something. It’s going good now as I have Elder Malaga willing to help me. Elder Malaga is great and we are getting to work.  Also getting some more work in other wards we cover.  We had some good meetings with them.  Trying to push to help them accomplish their goals.
On Friday, we had a split in Lotopa to help out those Elders with contacting all their referrals.  It went pretty well and my comp and I potentially contacted 4 investigators and the others also  (meaning the other elders) contacted some potentials.  They had 13 referrals to contact!  And also on their numbers report, they just got 9 more!  That ward is rocking!
We had a great lesson with a girl named L.  Her boyfriend who is a returned missionary is great.  He helped so much and is still  good.  We had a great lesson on the restoration.  She, L was really into it, just sharing how she knows that she has been blessed and wants to know more.  Meli, the RM was right on track by sharing his testimony and inviting her to read and pray about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  She even prayed to know if it’s true in a kneeling prayer with us at the end of the lesson.  I think she is set.  Meli is perfect for her.  We had to be careful with prayer as in her religion they say words like Daddy and Pap.  But, ya, I just explained that we use Heavenly Father and Father with—Thee, Thou and Thine for respect, and she accepted that.
Last week we had a great discussion with Sister K’s son J.  He was the only one home and usually he won’t talk, but he opened up to us, explaining why he doesn’t come back and all these problems.  We just listened and bore testimony that he could change his life if he came back.  We talked about the importance of the Sacrament and that it is essential and completes the repentance process.  He understood and accepted, saying he will come back and we had a kneeling prayer and blessed or asked Heavenly Father to bless him to know what is right.  I told him, he and his family have so much potential that’s why we came back.  All, everyone has potential and that’s why we go out and visit people.
Quick note---Iupeli came to church!  That was awesome.  Also had others come. But I have to go.  But I love you all so much!
Ou te Alofa tele atu ia Outou!   Keep strong.
Alofa atu,
Elder Cody John Walker




Monday, April 2, 2012

March 19, 2012

                                                                                   March 19, 2012

Dear Mom, Dad, and the Family,
Malo Soifua Lo’u Aiga!  O a mai outou?  Seki a mea uma?  I am so excited for Jared, tell him congrats for me.  That’s awesome. I’d better get an invite, even though I won’t be there.  Also excited for Kinnon, but not that it all happens before I get back.  He should wait until August. Ha ha.  No, do it when the future wife says to do it.  See I learn a lot on my mission from talking with the senior couples. They always bring great wisdom. Keep me updated please.
First up is our baptism and also that was on the last day we were comps, meaning Sefo and me. Anyways it was Pomate’s baptism on Friday.  We finished up his lessons on Wednesday and had his interview on Thursday and his baptism on Friday.  I was able to perform his baptism and it was well prepared as far as the program went, but the attendance was low.  We want to have good support always, but it is hard sometimes for people.  My guess is because it was Friday, people were working also. He, Pomate was happy and that’s what matters.  Funny thing is I forgot a tre so I had to put my white one back on for the last of the meeting.  Oh also, our ward mission leader completely blanked on my name and called out Elder McKay’s name thinking that was me.  He is funny. Pomate was great though.  Smiling and then on Sunday when he received the gift of the Holy Ghost and was confirmed, it completed all of it.
This past Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. -4:00 p.m. we had a defensive driving course. It was absolutely boring and only told us the rules of the road.  Instead of designated distance from the car in front of you, they say “just don’t get too close”.  They told us different stuff and then didn’t have us drive, because there were too many of us.  They had all ZL’s that hadn’t been certified go in order to save money on insurance, I think.
Also this past week, was the 50th Anniversary of Apia Stake, the first stake here in Samoa! It was an all week celebration, with the completion on Sunday the 18th, the exact day 50 years ago that it was organized. Elder F. Michael Watson was able to attend as well.  He had earlier on Sunday organized another stake in Savaii Puapua.  Yep a new stake was organized, and another celebrated 50 yrs.  On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we were able to go at night to the celebrations and watch the dancing. I took videos and it was way fun. Loved it! Only get to see that once in awhile.  On Sunday, they showed a video of the history of the church in Samoa up to the organization of the stake and building of the temple. Awesome!

Yep, now to tell you about my new comp. Last Thursday, Pres. Leota called us in and told me that Sefo was transferring to Vaitele and Elder Malaga was coming to be my new comp.  Malaga is a good hard working missionary and we are ready to explode in the work. First day with Malaga we had a service project on Saturday at V’s house, a less active, so hopefully that helps out.
Well, I am cutting it short, sorry, but I have to leave.  I love you all and miss you!  Thanks for everything.  I know the church is true and Jesus is the Christ and the head of this church.  Out te Alofa tele ia Outou!

Alofa Tele Atu,
Elder Cody John Walker

March 11, 2012

                                                                                                                   March 11, 2012

Dear Mom, Dad, and Family,
Wow!  Time goes by so very fast.  I can’t believe it.  How is everything going?  Good?  I hope so; remember as always to keep me updated with what is going on.  I try my best to give you detailed letters and make sure they aren’t too short for you, Mom. I love you all.  Thank you so much for everything- the love, support, prayers and everything else you do.  Faafetai tele lava!  You guys are the greatest! 
To get started with my letter and what’s been going on.  First, S’s baptism didn’t go through, we had to postpone it to a different date which is not set yet, but will be soon.  S has been having a hard time.  Just prayer and faith and patience.  All will work out.  We had only one lesson with her this week on Tuesday and didn’t get another opportunity as she was busy.  The lesson was good; we had help from another Elder named Levate who is from California.  He had his wisdom teeth taken out on Monday and was better fast as he came out with us on Tuesday.  He shared some good thoughts about how Satan knows what she is trying to do to follow the Savior and it is not going to get any easier, because he (Satan) wants all of us to be miserable, not happy.  Also when she gets baptized, there are still temptations, but the Holy Ghost helps us.  Then I followed up (oh ya, she had shared with us some concerns about not knowing enough and wanting to know more), there is a reason that the 4 lessons taught before a person is baptized is to prepare them for baptism.  It is designed by God who loves us and promises greater light and knowledge following baptism through the Holy Ghost, the gift we receive when we are confirmed. I told her that she will learn at greater paces and will understand so much more after her baptism and receiving that gift.  She knows, just needs to continue and keep commitments, especially to quit smoking.  She liked the lesson.  A funny part is that we had the lesson again with Sister Vui who tends to talk for long periods of time and while she was on one of her spurts, I looked at S who was playing with her hair and she looked up and we both busted out laughing.  Sister Vui who is great, don’t get me wrong, asked what happened and S said to her- “We both know how you can ramble on”.  Then we all had a good laugh.  We have been teaching her for quite a while. Anyway, she is good and knows it is true.  She was at church so she is still good with that. Pray always that she may come off conqueror.
We are still teaching a class at the Institute. This week we covered the Atonement and the Spirit World.  We had actually covered a little bit about the Atonement last week and finished it up on Tuesday.  Thursday’s entire lesson was dedicated to the Spirit World and Temple work and how they all intertwine together.  So important and I had to stress that as I could not even teach all there is to know, even if I spent the entire year teaching it.
We were the program for Sunday, we meaning Andrew Craig the ward mission leader, two other guys preparing for missions, and then my comp and me.   Our topic was based on the song—“I will not be Still”. Sung by Kenneth Cope.   We actually practiced that song during the weekend and then sang it in sacrament meeting.  The song applied well to help members understand their potential and privilege in having the gospel in their lives and how they should search to share it will others and not be still.  It was great and I think we presented our talks well.  It was a great opportunity and I was glad we were able to do it.
On Wednesday, we had another ZLC as always with the first Wed. of the month. Pres. Leota just emphasized keeping in contact with each ward we cover and contacting at least once a week the ward mission leader and the Bishop and fill out progress records to give to them so they know what is going on.  Great advice as we need to work together with them and keep them updated. We had a cool presentation on emergency preparedness by Elder Hanson.  It was interesting to see how many natural disasters have happened recently compared to past years.  Crazy stuff! It is definitely the last days.
On Wednesday, we had an opportunity to go to dinner with P W and his wife along with Elder and Sister Weber.  We had given him a movie on the Book of Mormon, “How Rare A Possession”.  We didn’t really talk about it too much but just had a sit down dinner at a restaurant, their treat for us.  His wife is really nice and they are great. It was fun.  Also P wants to meet with President and Sister Leota.  That should be interesting.  
We have a baptism coming up this Friday in Alafua ward.  His name is Pomati and he is 12 yrs. old. We contacted him on a Tuesday, had the first lesson on Wed., 2nd lesson on Thursday, and third lesson on Friday. Next week we will teach him the last lesson on Wed. and have his interview on Thursday and the baptism on Friday. Definitely a blessing from Heavenly Father and an opportunity.  Also we have received referrals and have 2 new guys who are gong to college who want to learn more. Pomati is a cool kid, who talks to us and knows quite a bit and is very smart, too.  Should be a good baptism.
Last is S and L. My comp got sick (stayed at mission office) so I took Kinnison and his comp to teach the second lesson to those two.  They are such a great couple.  So respectful, great to us and they are so fun to talk to. They are really searching; I can see it in their eyes and attitudes. It was also good as we talked about the principle of eternal families, they really enjoyed that.  I told them we want them to realize all the blessings they will receive and also all the commandments they will keep on this path, thus showing their love for God.  We invited them to be baptized on the 14th of April, so we will see how that goes.  Hopefully they continue to learn and pray and study.  They seemed a little surprised that we challenged them to set a baptism date, but that is our purpose.  Excited for that.
That’s the update for this week.  Thank you for everything.  I love you all so much.  I know this church is true.  I know God loves us.  I know Jesus is the Christ and that He loves us.  I know the Book of Mormon is true.  Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet. Joseph Smith was called of God to restore His church.  This is the only true church on the earth.

Alofa Tele Atu,
Elder Cody John Walker