May 28, 2012
Dear Mom, Dad, and Family,
Hey, first congrats to Blake and Angela for the birth of Alexsis, #4 and a girl! Send me some pix please. Awesome! What else is new? Anything? You all keeping busy? I hope all of you are doing good and no problems. I thank Heavenly Father for that every day. He surely has and is continually blessing our family. I love all you guys. I was so blessed to grow up and be in a family like ours. We are truly one of a kind, meaning who we are. Thank you guys for being you and also for your examples to me. I grow each day and think to different times you have advised me or helped me and I use it to make me a better missionary and a better person. Faafetai faafetai lava! The Walkers, the Best. Love you all!! Alofa tele atu mo outou uma lava!
First off was our Conference or Mission Tour with President F. Michael Watson and his wife. It was amazing and so awesome. He talked to us about the doctrine of the Father and Jesus Christ, emphasizing the point again like Elder Pearson did. It is essential that people understand that and realize who they really are as sons and daughters of God, but also know exactly who Heavenly Father really is and how we can talk to Him and understand more about Him. Pres. Watson’s wife talked about the 13 Articles of Faith, inviting us to use them more, but also to memorize them in our second language so we can help others more fully understand our religion. President Leota talked about 7 different things or statements we are trying to do in this mission. They were all amazing. One I will mention is it is better to be trusted than loved, because if they can trust you they will come to love you. So true. Especially here as we are so loved, but need to be trusted so they will learn to love who we are. We need their trust to get this work going. Also one thing that has not been making too many Samoans happy and is changing this mission is that the Lord’s Aganuu (culture) is better than any other and the most important and we need to learn to speak that. He is mainly talking on the big speeches people try to learn and focus their time on instead of gospel language and teaching or gaining spiritual thoughts with the power of the spirit. That’s more important. I really like that. I didn’t come on a mission to become a master of the whole language like a Matai (high chief), but to become a master servant of God and a representative of Jesus Christ. Also had some thoughts from Sister Leota which was all good. I could keep writing but you will just have to see my journal later. Needless to say it was a good conference. Oh also on Friday morning we had a special fono (meeting) for zone leaders with President Watson and President Leota which was short and sweet, but instructive. With comments also from the mission tour and how we are focusing on real growth in the church and rescuing the one or those who have strayed. Also he talked to us and told us to fulfill our calling as a leader as that is what we are called to do. So go out and lead the way for others to follow. Lead with love and by example. This is training us for other callings. So much stuff. All good though for sure.
Tuesday was our pday this time. We had a good lesson with M and also had institute. This week was the last week of Institute for this term. Couldn’t believe it. That went fast and now because of the 50th Anniversary of Independence for Samoa, it is going to be out until July, so our Tuesdays and Thursdays just opened up. It was fun though to teach and I got some experience there. Also it was fun to sign their certificates and hand them to them at the presentation on Friday as their instructor. Ha ha. It was fun. We had 5 or 6 graduates from our class.
This past week my companion got some virus and was down all day Wednesday and part of other days. His stomach was bad! He had a fever of 103, it was crazy. But he got a blessing and is doing better now, thank goodness. Not the kind of sickness you want to get as you can’t eat, sleep or do practically anything. Hopefully I don’t get it either, just pray and hope not. Keep Strong. Ha ha.
So the cool thing for this week is the referral from the APs that we contacted and taught the first lesson in two days. Her name is L and she is married to M and M’s brother was a big help, just getting home from his mission to the Philippines, so he helped with his witness and testimony. Anyways I really really loved the lessons and consider them some of the best first lessons I have had here in Samoa. The Spirit was strong, the atmosphere was comfortable and relaxed, also it was organized and setup well, etc. I could just explain more and more, but it was so much fun. L was open with us and was asking questions that were very legitimate and helped us to teach her and help her understand instead of kind of teaching blindly or trying to teach based on nothing just that she wants to investigate. But with her asking questions it makes the lesson so much better and helps us to help her. Anyways it was a great experience and I was grateful for the opportunity. All of the people are fun and love to laugh and make things interesting.
Last is Sister K and another good experience. We constantly talk on the Book of Mormon and stress the importance and she always says she will read and pray, but gets busy. Then I felt inspired the other day to have her read “Our Search for Happiness” by Elder M. Russell Ballard and she said she would. She came to me on Sunday just beaming and saying how she loved the book and said she could feel the spirit so strongly after she prayed and started reading the Book of Mormon. She said, “I’m not there yet, but I am closer.” YES! So awesome. Cool experience there.
I know the church is true, Joseph Smith restored the church through the power of God, and President Monson is a true prophet. Jesus is the Christ and is our Savior and Redeemer. God lives and loves us; The Book of Mormon is so so true. Memorize the Articles of Faith, so important.
Love you all! Thanks for everything! Alofa tele Atu. Keep strong and Endure to the End.
Elder Cody John Walker