Friday, November 4, 2011

Lindon's Baptism

07/25/2011 Feed My Sheep

Hello Everyone,

I hope you all received or heard about the package I sent home for all of you.

Sounds like this week is going to be one crazy week for all of you with family and weddings. Don't worry about me, I'll probably be teaching someone or knocking on doors. haha! Life is good.

Saturday I had the great opportunity to attend a baptism in Idaho Falls for Linden Schlenker. If you remember or if I even told you he is the one who requested us to come see him and bring him the DVD Finding Faith in Christ. When we went to deliver it he said, "I was wondering when you were going to come." Needless to say he is super golden and teaching him was a breeze. The WML for that ward said it best when we said that we were just hanging on for the ride. Brother Schlenker works for the BLM (burrow of land management) so he asked us if he could be baptized outside. I had never been asked that question before so we called President and he said, "well it's hard to tell someone no when Christ was baptized in a river." We worked close with the bishop and planned is baptism in the Snake River in Idaho Falls. That's a baptism to remember.

Brother Schlenker asked me and Elder Owens to be witnesses and when I stood on bank of the river I tell you I have not had deja vu like I had at that moment watching him be baptized in the river. That moment took me back for a second. I thought about this that night and came to the conclusion that I saw what I saw before coming to this earth as Heavenly Father commissioned me to find Linden and bring him into the fold. I could be wrong but I know I saw him being baptized in that place at that time before.

Elder Markert and I are planning our first baptism together for this Saturday. Rick is ready to rock and roll. We met with him last night and put together his program, his baptism was announced in the singles branch, and he passed his baptism interview. The best part is when we first met Rick he claimed to be Atheist which was just 3 1/2 weeks ago, however when we reviewed the baptism interview questions with him he has learned who his Heavenly Father is and knows that Jesus Christ lives. The first question to the interview is, "Do you believe that God is our Eternal Father? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world?" When we asked this question Rick looked at us for a second then said, "Yes, I really do." Oh boy! You betcha I was so excited to hear that! How cool is it that he was lead to Menan Idaho of all places from Seattle and in just 3 1/2 weeks time he is now a Christian soon to be LDS. The Spirit is incredible!!! My calling is incredible!!! These are the moments that make everything worth it, all the time spent, the studying, the obedience, the patience, the stress...everything. There is no greater cause in all the world and I get to be apart of it.

I learned something so great this week from Elder Holland. We know Peter to be the great Apostle of Jesus Christ. He was by the Saviors side in everything. When Christ was crucified the Apostles looked to Peter as their leader and asked, "now what?" Peter didn't know what to do or how to do what he was supposed to do so he did the only thing he knew how to do, he went fishing. We know the story continues and the Apostles had a terrible day of fishing, they hadn't caught anything. To their surprise there was a man on the beach sitting by a fire who told the Apostles to try fishing on the other side of the ship. Elder Holland continues to state that they probably were looking to this unknown man on the beach as an unlearned man who didn't know anything about fishing yet they had nothing to loose so they cast their nets on the other side of the boat. The nets are full, in fact too full to pull up the fish and the boat starts sinking. Peter then recognized that this man is Jesus Christ and tells his buddies who He is. The interesting part is though that Peter doesn't wait to go to shore but he bails over the boat and swims. He finds the resurrected Lord sitting on the beach cooking them breakfast. Just a side note of how merciful the Lord is, he knew his friends would be hungry and worn out from a day of fishing so he cooks them breakfast. It's at this point that we know the great conversation between Jesus and Peter. The Savior asks Peter, "do you love me?" to which Peter responds, "of course Thou knowest I love Thee" the Savior then responds so perfectly, "feed my sheep". Peter is asked this question again, and then the third time we know he is asked the same question. I can imagine that Peter is sad that the Lord is asking him this question a third time but it's the third time that Peter then understands what he is to do. The Lord responds to his answer by telling Peter that He's told him before, leave your nets (Elder Holland refers to these nets as anything from our past) and feed my sheep! "Go and do what I have commanded you to do, there is no going back, there is no turning around, you are in this now and you have to fulfill your purpose." We learn that it is this point that Peter becomes the great Apostle that he was. People would push through crowds to get to even be in his shadow.

Now, Elder Holland teaches, we, you and I, are in this. There is no going back, there is no turning around. Do we love God? Feed His sheep. We are told and given the same commission as the great Apostle Peter is/was given to invite others to come unto Christ. We have been blessed with a testimony and now it is our turn to share it with others. I hope that we all can fulfill what we are sent to accomplish. This is what I felt as I saw Linden be baptized and that feeling will always be with me. Remember that we are never alone in the Lord's work.

I love you all. Have a great week and enjoy the wedding on Saturday.

Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

07/18/2011 Cute Note from Elder Walker

By the way... Last week I received Chelsee's wedding announcement, Elder Rudd's wedding announcement, and Kate Adamson wrote me to tell me that she's engaged and getting married on the 6th of Aug! I think everyone is taking last conference too seriously with President Monson telling the men to get married! haha!

07/18/2011 Pioneers

Hello Everyone,

This week was great as always. This morning I finished the Book of Mormon for the 6th time on my mission! I can't believe how much I learn from it each time I read. This time I took a different approach when I read by highlighting each reference to the God-head, each doctrine or principle, each characteristic of the Savior, and every time the Savior speaks. Each highlight of course is a different color.

My e-mail this week is going to be rather short because I'm going to be sending home a letter with a gift for the family.

With the 24th of July coming quickly I've been in this mood to learn of the pioneers. As a trainer the missionary department gave me a DVD player for the apartment so I can show Preach my Gospel DVDs to Elder Markert and introduce him to other church produced DVDs. This week I was so involved in watching the movie "Mountain of the Lord" which is about the building of the Salt Lake Temple. I also was intrigued by the "Church History" DVDs that are used in seminary and institute classes. I learned so much about the pains and sorrows the pioneers had to go through for us to have a better environment to learn the gospel. I didn't realize the love that these pioneers had for us that they would sacrifice everything just so they/we could further our testimonies of the Savior.

When the pioneers made it to the Salt Lake Valley after much loss and devastation the Prophet immediately began thinking of plans for a temple to be built. I can't imagine having to think about building a temple after I just walked so many miles and not even having my own house built. The great news is that they wanted the blessings of the temple so bad that they gave everything they could to build a temple for to their God. This makes my challenges seem simple and insignificant especially when I'm asked to walk by faith over something far less significant than building a temple when for all they knew they'd have to leave it again.

These are my thoughts for the week. I look forward to you receiving the package I send with my testimony. Have a good week!

Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

07/11/2011 Photos

Headstones of family ancestors...

"My Two Sons"... Elders that Elder Walker trained

07/11/2011 Menan Week 2

Hello everyone,
Yup, Menan is still way awesome. I've really enjoyed my time here and I love each day as we meet new people and find those that are ready for the gospel. This past week has been super busy and has been very productive. We've had the opportunity to set 3 baptismal dates this week! It feels like I'm right back at home in St. Anthony.

Last Monday was super fun. We started by attending the fair in Menan. The little town of 700 was crazy! There must have been 3,000 people that came in town for this day! I was completely blown away at how many people there were especially because I didn't know that Menan could fit that many people on the streets. After the fair we went in to Rexburg to hang out with some other missionaries and go to the rodeo. I forgot how funny the members are in Rexburg; at the rodeo the announcer had recognized all the missionaries there in at the rodeo. haha! The crowd was cheering for us as we stood and waved to everyone. Good ol' Rexburg. I guarantee that wouldn't happen anywhere else in the world.

The week continued on really well. Elder Markert is getting more comfortable every day. I found that if I really prepare him before the lesson by going through each point and discussing the parts that he would teach, then our lessons turned out much more successful and he would be much more confident in himself. I also found that putting him on the spot proved to be successful too because he's learned that he can open his mouth and have it filled with the words to speak. For example, we were asked to give a blessing to a lady we're teaching so she could receive strength to live the word of wisdom. When she asked us I told her that we would love to and that Elder Markert would be the voice in the blessing. This was his first blessing to give and let me tell you, I thought I may have given him his first heart attack! I coached him through what to say and what steps to take and then told him just to speak the words that came to his heart. The blessing was so powerful and exactly what this sister needed to hear. When the blessing was done, she stood, shook his hand and told him that he was inspired by the words he had said. I love new missionaries!

Yesterday we had the wonderful experience of having a missionary fireside for one of the wards we cover. The event was a success. We shared spiritual experiences from our mission and how we came to know the church was true. I was pondering on what I would share to these members and I felt impressed to share an experience I had when I was in the sacred grove prior to my mission. I explained how I took a few minutes to myself in the grove and how the Spirit taught me what I already knew. I then had the great opportunity to share the first vision and testify of this event that changed the world. I love sharing these experiences with people especially because I feel the Holy Ghost testify of the words that I speak. There is no better feeling except to feel a God testify of your words.

After we shared these experience we had a fun activity to help the youth feel more confident in sharing the gospel. We bring two of them up and give on a snickers bar and ask him or her to "sell" that snicker bar to his friend. We learn that it is extremely easy to give a friend a snickers bar and you both can enjoy sharing of this candy. We then pulled out a copy of the Book of Mormon and explained that this book is far more important than a mear snickers bar and that the happiness we receive from living these guidelines is eternal and in fact this book contains the message of salvation. I think that put in perspective for the youth how easy it is to give a candy bar but the significance is nothing but how easy it can be to give a book of mormon when we understand the significance is eternal.

I received a letter from Grandma telling me all about our family relations to Grant. She had told me that a lot of the Dabells were buried in the cemetery there. The next time we were in the area I stopped by the cemetery and found the headstone to Alfred and Julia Dabell. That's pretty cool huh?

Everything is looking up. The area is great! My comp is great! Life is good, so good.

Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

07/04/2011 Menan, Idaho

Hello Everyone!

Happy Independence day!

Where do I begin? Well I'm in Menan now...

This place is GREAT! Very very similar to St. Anthony in the fact that everyone is laid back and doesn't have a care in the world. It really has been a weird adjustment from being in Poky and IF for the past year. I've forgotten what it was like to be around people who have such simple lives. We cover the whole stake which includes 9 units. We have the cities of Menan and Lewisville and the areas of Grant and Annis. This area is the biggest I've served in including the most open space. For the past 5 days I've been so lost! I just learned North and South ;)

My companion is Elder Markert from Pennsylvania near the NY border. He's even in the Palmyra temple district. When we first got together he was really nervous as most new missionaries are but even after a couple days he was still being really shy. I'll admit that I was nervous to have a shy comp especially because he didn't speak much. The great part is that now he's comfortable with talking to anyone.

We had a way cool experience our first day together. We received a phone call from a man by the name of Randy who said that we didn't show up to our appointment the day prior. I called him right back and explained that we were both new to the area and that we would be more than happy to come see him. He told us to come in a couple days but that we should see Jason from the church. Now we didn't have any idea who Jason was since we'd only been in the area for 2 hours. After a few questions we were able to find out that Jason was the elders quorum president. We went to see president Fullmer to find out the situation about this family. Let me tell you, brother Fullmer was so happy to see new missionaries! He wanted to go see them right then so we loaded up in his truck and went on a visit to Randy. When we got there we found out that this family has just recently moved here from Washington and were meeting with the missionaries there. Randy moved here with his son Rick (19) and his girlfriend Georganne. The first thing they asked us was, "so can we have the first lesson now?" Randy is already converted to the gospel and is currently studying Jesus the Christ, Georganne is re-activating, and Rick said he isn't opposed to learn more. What we didn't know is that Randy set this whole thing up for Rick because Randy knows it's true. After teaching about the Book of Mormon and the Atonement I wrote on a sticky note to Elder Markert, "I want you to invite Rick to be baptized." He looked at me with wide eyes and I simply looked back to Rick in silence. Elder Markert invited him and he accepted!! It was way cool! There is nothing better than having a new missionary set a baptism date his first day in the field. The best part was that we didn't even know these people but we were able to follow the Spirit to see the EQP who helped connect us to this family.

You're probably wondering about Randy... well he will be baptized when he can figure out how to live the Law of Chastity. When this happens he will be baptized in a heartbeat.

Things are looking up. It's weird not being a zone leader anymore, really weird but I told Elder Markert that I don't believe in Jr./Senior companionships but that we're both equal. I've been used to having an equal companion for the past 12 months and that I look to him as the same. Since that conversation he's been taking the lead on most every aspect of missionary work. He's going to do great.

Tonight we're going to Rexburg to a rodeo with our zone and we get to be out until 11 PM. We're going to stay the night with some Elders up in Rexburg and then come back to Menan tomorrow. I'm excited for the fireworks tonight!

I hope you all have a great week. Remember to always share your testimony!

Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker