April 30, 2012
Dear Mom, Dad, and Family,
Talofa lava! O a mai outou! So how is everything? All good? Any new news or anything happening I don’t know about? I will always ask because I love you all and even though I am far away I still want to help and be involved with family matters. Still am focused on the work, but ya you know what I mean. Anyways I better get started on the update.
I got to golfing last Monday with my comp and man I stunk it up. I couldn’t tee off to save my life. Surprisingly though I was able to putt decently. It was fun though, just my comp and I and we walked it to get some good exercise.
From President Hamula’s conference that we had, our new thing now is pushing to help not only new members, but ALL members, especially those less active to receive all their covenants necessary for salvation. This includes partaking of the sacrament every week, temple covenants (endowment and sealing) which all are important. Oh and for all young men and men to receive the priesthood. So ya, we are beginning to focus on that and President Hamula said the baptisms would flow from that. Right now we need to strengthen what Samoa already has and with all its members temple worthy and if not of age to be endowed, then doing baptisms for the dead. And young men preparing for missions and girls if they want to. The list could go on, but that’s a very good point and factor. How can we baptize these people into wards where they are expected to be strengthened by themselves and then be the strongest and most worthy? Can’t be indifferent these days in the world where Satan is so strong, they need to set foot on a firm foundation which is the ward where they are baptized and of course the gospel. It’s the new vision or the reformed vision to strengthen the stakes not just increase numbers. We are now going to work with members and get everyone we can to the temple. This I know as well will bring baptisms and then all of us together will endure to the end.
So as a preparation, we went out to try and meet with less actives and ask the Bishop as well who specifically to visit. He gave us a good family we could maybe have a baptism there. So we had a good visit with this family in Maomoa that Rodgers and Smithing had baptized. They of course are far away from the chapel and their problem is it’s too far to walk, so that’s a problem. The other elders use to give rides, but when they got transferred that stopped and also now it is not allowed to give people rides. Anyway we talked with the mom and dad about Conference (General Conference) and they at first told us they had watched every session, but when I asked about President Monson’s talk they admitted that they hadn’t made it to that one, so I just expressed my thoughts and impressions about the Prophet’s talk and bore my testimony to them. My comp also bore testimony and we invited them to be stronger and continue going forward. A good visit! Also got a referral that we gave to the sisters.
What was fun was on Wed. we went to the K family to return dishes to D from Sunday and there was a lady there from Faleasiu. We began talking and I came to find out she is family with Fesolai Moega and Maria who Asuafi and I baptized over a year ago. She was still of their old faith and so we began talking and she asked us to share a little bit so we did half English half Samoan. She already had a Book of Mormon so we gave her a pamphlet on the Restoration. We asked her to read and study it to know only a portion of what we believe. She accepted and wanted to meet with missionaries so we referred her over to those Elders. Hopefully all works out.
This past week it was interesting, instead of in New Zealand, they held the Mission Presidents conference here in Samoa. All mission presidents from the Pacific Area came to Samoa for a week conference with the Area Presidency. A lot of important people here. We met with one of them on Monday, President and Sister Simmons from the Sydney, Australia Mission. She took our picture and may have sent it to you. Anyway it was a busy week for the Presidents and others and on Thursday our zone and the north zone got chosen to sing a song to all of them right before the meeting that day. We sang “Oloo Fai Neile taua” (We are now in War). And it turned out pretty good. Fun and a great experiences. Awesome experience. It was so cool to see and talk to some of them.
With that, the Tongan Mission President’s wife on her way here talked and invited a lady on the airplane to read the Book of Mormon. So we went by her hotel and dropped one off and she was surprised, but impressed at our determination. She said she would read it as she traveled. Great experience.
Then from Friday to Sunday, I got to go back to Savaii for three days! We were chosen to go and help teach the TTIP and follow-up and Fellowshipping to a ward and lucky me that Elder Rodgers put me in Sili/Papa!! Yep, I got to go back to the good ole village of Sili. We taught in Papa on Sunday which went pretty good and hopefully the people catch the spirit. (Also cool is the bishop asked us to bless the sacrament). The teaching went alright as we delivered it, also there weren’t that many people either. But we did what we could and many people like it. But all day Saturday I went with Elder Logoai and visited a lot of houses of families I knew. It was a lot of fun and great to see them. We even got to give two strengthening lessons to two people, (two guys that had some weaknesses). But I love that area and those people. So awesome and fun to catch up on things. I miss all of them, but will always remember them. We came back on Sunday, so short of a time, but at least we got to see them and I have a lot of Koko Samoa promised to me. That may have been the last time I will be able to go to Savaii. Kind of sad to think about. Just keep working. I will see them again. A lot of the baptisms we had there in Savaii are enduring, all but one. Also is you remember, L of Sili 2nd ward, she was baptized! Oh and A, whose baptism we were able to attend on Saturday and I gave the spiritual thought and then also R whom we taught over in Papa, was baptized not too long ago. So awesome to hear.
That’s a wrap. I know without a doubt the church is true and Jesus is the Christ. He is the Head of this Church. His Atonement is infinite. It has no limits. God lives and loves each and every one of us. We can be eternal as families forever. Keep the commandments, that’s the key to happiness. The Book of Mormon is true and the most correct, most powerful and most important book on the earth. It changes lives. President Monson is a true prophet. Follow him. I love you all so so much! Alofa tele atu mo outou. Thank you so so much for everything. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY MOM!! I will talk to you all soon. Keep strong.
Elder Cody John Walker