Monday, December 28, 2009
So I tried sending an e-mail on Christmas day but when I went to send it the computer froze and deleted everything. So here is a recap of what has happened.
This past week was super slow because people were out of town for Christmas or they told us to come back after the Holidays. I'm excited for this week to be able to go back to work and teach. I don't want to say that last week was super unsuccessful because we did have two baptisms on Saturday for Stephanie and Kyle. The baptism went great; they both had a great experience. Kyle is 8 and Stephanie is his Mom. Both of Kyle's parents were not members so he is considered a convert. They both became interested in the Church when Kyle told Stephanie that he wanted to go to church. Elder Call and I stopped by after we heard they went to Church and to our surprise Stephanie had sent away several Missionaries in the past but for some reason said that we could come back and teach Her and Kyle. She later told us that she didn't know why she let us back but she just felt right about us. I think that Stephanie is one I was sent to Idaho to bring into the fold because it took the right Missionaries at the right time to help her.
Stephanie's 13 yr old son, Chance, we think might be interested in taking the lessons now that he watched his Mom and Brother learn.
We found out transfer information last night and Elder Call and I are staying in St. Anthony. It's weird now that I think about it because I will be about 10 minutes away from Torie, Tasia, and Jessica when they come up here to BYU-I in January. I never thought I would be so close to my friends when I went on a mission.
Elder Call received the new assignment as our District Leader and Elder Lagazo (our current district leader) is going to be our new Zone Leader. Elder Call joked this morning saying he knows why he is going to follow up training me, it's so he can do it properly the second time. That isn't true though, he did a great job of training.
I'm excited to stay here because we have several people that either have a baptism date in January or who will have one this week. It's weird because there are two boys, Treven and Carson, both are 10 and they both want to be baptized but their parents haven't given permission yet. The reason I say it's weird is because although we baptized 6 this transfer I haven't felt satisfied yet because those two haven't been able to be baptized yet. I hope I get to see that happen this transfer.
Last night we spent a few hours in the Dentist office because our district leader, Elder Lagazo, had serious pain in some teeth. I called up one of our ward mission leaders and he gave me a few dentists to call in the ward. We got a hold of one of them and he met us in his office. Long story short Elder Lagazo had to have three shots of that numbing stuff and had a serious root canal. He's doing alright now but he was in serious pain last night.
Well I think that is all of the updates for this last week. I am keeping the same address so please continue sending letters there. If you send it to the mission office first I usually receive them a few days later then if they are sent directly to St. Anthony.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and will have a great New Year.
Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker
So I had typed a whole e-mail to everyone telling them about our baptisms and basically everything we talked about today on the phone. I went to go send it and the computer said that it lost the connection and deleted the e-mail. Dang. So can you do me a big favor and just post something summarizing the phone call and things that I told you?
1. almost leading the mission in baptisms
2. calling home today
3. 3 baptisms last week, 2 tomorrow
4. the polygamist family
5. and wish everyone a merry christmas
Thanks Mom, you're the greatest! I love you so much and hope you have a great day. It was so nice to talk with you today, I look forward to Mother's day. Merry Christmas, Love Elder Walker
So - I asked Tyson's Dad to help me out and he composed this note:
The highlight of our Christmas weekend, wasn't necesarily the time off work, or spending it with grandkids, or the new snow, or the two sets of Elders who spent Christmas day with us....but it was the conference call that we had as a family on Christmas morning, and having both of our missionaries on the phone at the same time. What a wonderful time that was.
Since this is Tyson's blog, I will just say that he is doing well and is very happy. He is very spoiled in his first area, by it being the nearly the top baptizing area of his mission. He had three baptisms just prior to Christmas and then another two on Saturday.
Ironically, one of the Elders who spent Christmas day with us, is from Sugar City, only 5 miles away from Tyson. His mother called me last night to report that another of her sons had spoken in Church in St. Anthony yesterday and she was there to support him. Lo and behold, Tyson was there to confirm the two people that they just baptized on Saturday. I was so thrilled to hear her report that she knew exactly which one was Elder Walker because of the huge smile on his face after the confirmations. After the meeting she wanted to give him a big hug, but refrained. She reported that he was so happy, and doing very well.
In the conference call on Friday, Tyson did say that he was working hard and enjoying much success. He also reported something funny, in that they were teaching a woman from a polygamist family. So that's a first for him, and I'm sure it would be for many others too.
In the conversation also, he asked that we extend his very best wishes for a Merry Christmas and very Happy and prosperous New year to all of his family and friends, that he misses a lot.
Monday, December 14, 2009
So the Christmas spirit is setting in! We just got several inches of snow and the Christmas lights/trees are almost all up. Although this season is making me really sad not to be home sharing this Holiday with my family, I am really busy sharing the gospel with everyone. I know that Christmas day is going to be a really hard day but for now everything is all good.
I love sharing the gospel this season because people seem to be more receptive to us. This season helps us all focus on what is most important, the Savior and our Families which makes it easier to help others to come unto Christ.
Good news! We have 5 people with baptism dates for Dec! Our district is only 4 Elders but between the 4 of us we are second to leading the mission in baptisms with 11 dates this month plus the 2 that we've already had. President Walker, the stake president for the St. Anthony stake wants our area to lead the mission in baptisms so the stake had a fast focused on missionary work a month or so ago. We are now seeing the fruits of that labor. President Colton has asked us our thoughts on bringing in 2 more missionaries in this stake because there is that much work to do.
I don't know if I've told you this yet or not but President Colton told me when he assigned me to St. Anthony that my mission is now down hill because I've started off in the best part of the mission. He was right, I am in the best part of the mission (knock on wood; I don't want to get transfered).
One of our ward mission leaders is going to be in Denver next week and asked for my home address so he can stop by and visit with Mom and Dad. I gave him the address and both cell phone numbers. His name is Kurt Harrison and is the best WML in the world. He has done more for us than any other person in this stake. I hope you will be able to visit with him.
Well Mom, you asked for a Christmas list. I don't know what I would want though. It's hard to want things as a missionary. There are a few things that I need though:
1. 2010 stake directory
2. Juice Plus (I'm almost out)
3. Some more CDs because we spend a lot of time in the car and have listened to them all about 15 times. I don't know if you've done this yet but if you could please send Christmas music. I really really need some Christmas music.
4. Any sort of scarves you can find. I love scarves.
So I have met so many people that I'm related to! I'm pretty sure that every other dinner appointment I'm related to the family. Our dinner on Saturday night apparently knows Grandma because I think she said that Grandma called her and told her to tell me hi. Her name is Sister Miller and is a great grand daughter of William F. but it is weird because she is older than Grandma but Grandma is a grand daughter. So if you want to let Grandma know that I talked with her and got her message of hello that would be great!
We also are activating one of Grandma's cousin's daughters. Grandma's cousin Gene Rigby's (Rulon Gene Rigby) daughter, Julie Murri, is who we are meeting with.
I know that I was sent here to find our family. Which has led me to think that if we never moved to Colorado chances are that I would not have been called to the Pocatello mission. It's cool to see how the spirit has directed us to Colordao for so many reasons.
Well we've got to get to Rexburg. I love you all very much! Have a great Holiday season and remember that our purpose as members of the Church is to invite others to come unto Christ.
Peace and love,
Monday, December 7, 2009
This past weekend has been the best weekend so far (even though I've only had three) in the field. It started off with my first baptism!
The baptism was successful and hilarious. The boy's name that was baptized is Jake and his 80 year old grandfather baptized him who just got active in the church so this baptism was new for both of them.
Jake is 15 and a big kid and his grandpa is tiny. I was a witness and the first time he went down Jake's head didn't go all the way under so they had to do it again but Jake's grandpa didn't know he had to say the prayer again so he just threw him under the water without holding him or supporting him or anything. Jake was squirming and had to get himself up out of the water. We were all laughing so hard. The third time was a success and Jake was really happy. It was so great to be a witness at my first baptism. After that event I realized the significance of my purpose as a missionary... "invite others to come unto Christ..."
Jake didn't know any piano players so I volunteered myself. I loved being behind a piano again and inviting the spirit through music. I've always loved the piano and have cherished the talent, but now I can give back to the Lord with the talent he has given me. So many missionaries have told me that they wish they knew how to play the piano. I just smile and say I would too if it wasn't for my Mom. I have loved every time I've been asked to play. Especially when the Assistants ask.
Next great thing that happened was an event last night. We were given a referral for a family called the Westovers. We knew that they had fed the missionaries in the past but didn't know what their interest was in the church. We decided to stop by a few weeks ago and ask if they would be interested in meeting with us. After a few moments of silence, Stephanie, the mom, said well we have never allowed missionaries to teach us but I will this time. We were so excited! We were told that we could teach Stephanie and her son Kyle who is 8. We consider him an over aged youth because his parents are both not members. So we taught them Lesson 1. It was good, not great, but the spirit was strong during the first vision. So we set up a return appointment. At our Zone Conference this past week President Colton told us that unless the spirit directs you not to invite people to be baptized you should always do so in every lesson. Elder Call and I had discussed inviting her for the 19th of this month. So we go in to teach last night and decided that we would teach the 3rd lesson which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end). We talked about the first two points and towards the end of repentance the spirit so strongly told me that she was to be baptized on the 26th of this month and that I was to invite her immediately. So I interrupted Elder Call and said, "Stephanie, I would be dishonest if I didn't tell you what the spirit just told me (at this point I started to get emotional). Our Heavenly Father desires you and Kyle to be baptized on the 26th of this month. You know this Gospel is true because I can feel of your testimony. Will you follow the example of our Savior and be baptized on the 26th of December?" With tears in her eyes both Kyle and Stephanie accepted the invitation. I tell you what, I have never had a prompting so strong or so bold in my life. The Lord knows us all so personally and so individually. In just two weeks Stephanie went from not sure if she was to meet with us, to feeling the spirit testify to her that she is to be baptized in a few weeks. How great is my calling! I love missionary work. This is the Lord's work and I just merely spoke the words that the spirit directed me to say. I know that Stephanie and Kyle are ones that I was sent here to Idaho to bring into the "fold".
I know this work is the work of the Lord. To all my friends out there that are trying to find the truth let me give you some advice; God only speaks truth, and only truth prevails. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints is God's truth and it prevails. "The truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent... till the great Jehovah says the work is done." This is my testimony and all the represents me. I am the Lords missionary and He has chosen me to represent him. How great is my calling.
I love you all so much. I know there are many more great stories to come. Although Idaho is freezing it is "burning up" with missionary work.
peace and love,
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
I just wrote to you all a few days ago and nothing new has happened but I didn't want to miss a week of writing. We had a great Thanksgiving with lots of food. I have never eaten as much as I have in the last week and a half! Every house we knock on, member or not, always has pie and ice cream for us! We don't have to buy too much food because everyone always wants to give us something to take home. Just from Thanksgiving we have a freezer full of turkey and ham. It's so great to know that I will never go hungry!
I have my first baptism this Saturday! I am so excited! His name is Jake Ohs, 15, and a great kid. He is so excited for his baptism day! Elder Call and I are teaching him for the last time tonight.
I received an e-mail from one of the Elders in my MTC district who went to Connecticut. He said that the mission average is 4 baptisms per companionship for the whole 2 years of serving. How blessed am I to be in a mission where we get that in one month?! I didn't realize how great those numbers were until I read his e-mail today. In our mission, each companionship usually baptizes weekly. How wonderful that opportunity is.
We have our first Zone Conference on Thursday. It is going to be different though because of the Holidays. I think we get to watch a movie and play some games as a zone. Apparently I came into a weird transfer. I hope I don't get used to all the Holiday time we are getting.
Well I will have more to write next Monday. I love you all so much!
If anyone happens to see Troy please tell him to write me! I haven't heard one thing from him since I've been gone.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I wanted to write another message just for you. Today is my first family holiday away from home and I just wanted you all to know how much I love you. It's interesting how much my love for my family has grown since I've been serving.
Brailee, Daiken, and Estee - I love you kids so very much! I think about you everyday. I hope you are having so much fun in the snow! I just got some snow here in Idaho too! Thank you for all of the green toys and notes you sent me! I love you so much! Enjoy your day eating turkey!
Britnee and Adam - Thank you so much for my "greeney" package! It took Elder Call and I like 10 minutes to figure out what it was. He said, maybe they got St. Patricks day confused. Haha! The back scratcher and the ball thing are my new favorite things.
Adam, I really appreciate you letting me know that Idaho is not for ATV riding, I was confused. Haha! I know you wish you were here serving as much as I wish I was riding so this goes both ways buddy! What was your address when you lived in St. Anthony? Maybe we'll go tract it out.
Britnee, how is the new baby coming along? Are you ready to pop?? Just remember to eat double today, this is the baby's first Thanksgiving. Are you still on track for the 10th of January?
Mom - You have no Idea how much I miss you today. When I got a letter from Elder Bosen telling me he was going to eat with you all today I thought that maybe he and I could switch spots today. I love and miss you so dearly but I will get to talk to you soon.
Dad - It is so great to read your e-mails. It's my favorite part about p-day. I got your message about Elder Bosen staying another transfer! That is crazy! He told me that Brenda finally got baptized. That is great news to hear. How is the work going in the Perry Park ward? In our area we get so much help from our Bishops. If our ward mission leaders don't help, the Bishops step right in and do a great job.
Our Stake President is President Walker and he is determined to find a way that he and I are related. Can you and Mom do me a huge favor? My companion is way into family history and now has me wanting to know about my family. Especially about William F Rigby because everyone here knows about him. Can you send me a more detailed pedigree chart that goes back farther than the one I have and maybe include a little story or something interesting about them? Especially because everyday someone says "Walker? Where is your family from?" I then have to say, oh, I have no idea! So it would be nice to be able to answer that question.
Anyway, you all are so great! I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving! Tell Elder Bosen and his new companion I say hi and I wish them the best. Have a great day!
Be sure to give thanks to our Heavenly Father for allowing us to be a family, you are all definitely my greatest blessing.
We got the opportunity to go to the family history center here in St. Anthony to write e-mails today. So I wanted to send an e-mail telling you all how thankful I am for all of you.I have been out on the mission now for one month yesterday and I have come to know how grateful I am for my beautiful family and my wonderful friends. Today already has got me thinking and giving thanks to my Heavenly Father for blessing me with such a wonderful life. We have all been blessed with so much.
Although today is the first real day of wishing I was home to spend this holiday with those I love, I am thankful to be serving my Savior and giving all I can back to him for everything he has done for me. The work is going forth here in St. Anthony. Although it is extremely cold, there is such a warmth of great spirit from the people here. Every member family we meet they always invite us to join them for Thanksgiving. I told Elder Call we should definitely be tracting today because we would get fed something every house we go to!
We are eating with a family that just lost their son last month and his wish was that the Elders ate with them on this day. They are a great family and super excited for us to come over. President Colton has made today an all day preparation day. We get to do what ever we want (well within mission rules) all day. This morning we went and served over at the community Thanksgiving meal. We were able to help them prepare for the meal at noon. We'll be going back later to help serve food. There are so many families in this town that don't have very much. Most of them don't have a College degree and work as farmers. We have many trailer parks here and some are falling apart. It's interesting though because although they don't have much, they all still have such high spirits.
Here in St. Anthony we have my whole district (which only consists of 4 Elders). It's fun to have a really small district because we see each other all the time and get together often. The other Elders are Spanish and all together the 4 of us cover 10 wards and 6 cities. Our district leader is Elder Lagazo from the Philippines and speaks 4 languages. He is really great though.
Some more about Elder Call; He is from northern Illinois, about an hour and a half North West of Chicago. It's great for us to be together because he isn't as outgoing as I am. He is more reserved and thinks it's weird that I can be so excited when I talk to people. It's funny to watch him teach children because he totally loses them. I'm grateful that Brailee, Daiken, and Estee were able to live with me so I can know how to teach little kids and keep their attention.
Anyways I just wanted you all to know how much I appreciate your love and support. I do love all of you so much. Keep the work progressing.
I don't even know where to begin! So much has happened since I last prep day.First off I am assigned to the St. Anthony area which is just about 10 miles north of Rexburg. I love love love this area! I am truly in such a beautiful part of the country. I have a perfect view of the Tetons which I love to see everyday.
So I concluded my time in the MTC on Tuesday waking up at 4:00 AM to catch a flight at 8:00. There were nearly 400 missionaries leaving the MTC that day 20 of which came to Idaho with me. When I got to the airport I got to call home for a short talk and had the wonderful opportunity to call my favorite Sister Missionary! I forgot about the time change so I woke her up, oops! Oh well, it was great to talk to my sister. We then got on the smallest airplane I have ever been on. There were 17 missionaries on this plane which took up all but 4 seats. What a great memory though to have an airplane full of Elders.
We were greeted with a big hug from our Mission President, President Colton, and the Assistants. We waited and waited for our luggage but come to find out the plane was so small they couldn't fit all the luggage on the plane so they had to send a second plane with the other half of our bags! I thought that was really funny!
We were then taken to the mission home and fed breakfast, had interviews with President, then went on splits with some missionaries in the Pocatello zone. I got to teach about the Atonement in the second lesson to a part member family. What a great experience! Later that night President handed out our assignments. He had us stand and read it out loud to the whole group. He would then proceed to tell us about our trainer and the area.
Like I said earlier I am serving in the St. Anthony area with Elder Call. My area is very much a farming town. The population in my area is about 3,300 but is so big that it would take about 25 minutes to get from one end to the other. Elder Call has been out about 9 months. I am his first green companion and this is his first time being a senior companion. He is great though. We are teaching constantly and always have people to go see.
The first day I got here we started teaching from the get go. I didn't even unload my bags untill we got home that night. My very first lesson taught was a success infact we had a lady sit in that we thought was an inactive member but come to find out she isn't a member and wants to be baptized! Before we left she asked if she could have a blessing to help her with her faith. I was so excited that she was willing to ask for a blessing, for me that is excercising a lot of faith already.
There is another man, his name is Aaron, he has two kids who are members as well as his wife. When we taught him, he told us that he knows the Book of Mormon is true but he just didn't have the urge to get baptized. I felt prompted to tell him that there was something that was preventing him from feeling the spirit. I told him, "Aaron, you are doing something in your life that is preventing you from feeling the spirit, as long as you continue doing that you will never recieve an answer to getting baptized. I promise you that if you put away this thing and you pray with real intent, you will recieve an answer on Sunday in church."
Now I have never met this guy and come to find out he had met with the missionaries since 2006 and hasn't been to church yet. After I promised him that he would recieve an answer if he would stop doing this thing, he was crying. He thanked us and we left. I have no idea what it is that he is doing, but I know that he went to church yesterday and during sacrament meeting he got emotional. We are meeting with him on Wednesday to follow up.I know our Heavenly Father loves these people and wants them to come to him. I know that Aaron recieved his answer because I only spoke that what the spirit told me to say.
We have taught so many lessons already if I was to tell you all about them you would be reading forever. Here is a run down of the mission so far. We have 2 baptisms ready to go, 4 that are setting dates this week, 6 that are close, and several less active families that are being taught. I love this work and I love the people here in St. Anthony. There are so many that are prepared and willing to accept the gospel. Elder Call and I are teaching so many and will continue teaching more. All I can tell you is that Elder Walker is definatly going to bring so many people to Christ. Watch out Sister Walker, your numbers are going to be challenged! Haha! I know it isn't about the numbers, but I am really looking forward to the work that will go forth in this area.
I love you all so much. Keep strong to the gospel and never let your testimony go. This work will go forth "boldly... until the great Jehovah will say the work is done."
Elder Tyson Walker
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I have 5 mins left and wanted to just send a quick message to let you know how much I love and appreciate you! You both are the best parents any missionary could ever have. I have grown my love for you both very much in the last two weeks. I want you to know how much my testimony has grown and my love for my Savior. When I was in the Celestial room today there is a big picture of Christ on the wall, the one where he has his hands out and is in his robes in the clouds. I sat there just staring at the picture and sung in my head, "I feel my saviors love." I just sat there on the couch with tears in my eyes and could seriously feel my Savior's love.
All is well here in the wonderful state of Utah in the Provo MTC. I love, love, love being here and feeling the Lord's Spirit so strong. This week has been so amazing as well as super challenging.
As you know from the last letter I was called as the District Leader and with that calling I have had a lot of responsibility. Our district had a big turn for the worst the last few days due to contention and loss of the Spirit. I was told by one of our teachers that I had to find the root to the problem; you can cover the symptoms but that doesn't get rid of the virus. I was praying so hard to have help. I had no idea how I was going to find out what the root problem was. I spent a few days in prayer pleading for help. Just last night my prayer was answered. Sister Walker, one of our teachers, came to class and said that she didn't know what it was but she felt as though we needed to have a distric inventory and get things to normal. She said she felt prompted to read Alma 24 and talk about the Anti-Nephi-Lehi people and how they chose to bury their weapons of war. We then talked about what is driving everyone crazy and how we can fix it. I don't know how it worked or what Sister Walker did but after that our distric has been closer and stronger than it has ever been before.
That was only the beginning of what happened though. Because she is so guided and inspired she felt prompted that we needed to teach her in the role of someone she taught on her mission. She played this girl named Hannah who had served a mission and went through the Temple but when she went to school she messed up with her roomate and got into a homosexual relationship which in turn led to her getting excommunicated. It was so sad to see the depression and the loss of everything in her life. She so desperatly wanted to feel the spirit again and know that her Heavenly Father loved her. Sister Walker told us not to teach unless we were inspired to teach from the spirit. I don't know what it was but I felt the spirit so strong during that lesson. I talked about the Atonement and how Christ is always there with his arms open and she is the only thing pushing him away. The lesson was going well until we got to the end and I said, "Hannah, I feel impressed to offer you a priesthood blessing." Although we couldn't do it there because it was a role play, Sister Walker got emotional and said that is exactly what she needed. I felt so good because the spirit works in such a great way. I learned that as a missionary I am only a mouth peace for Heavenly Father to talk to his children.
After the role play was over Sister Walker asked our district to give her a blessing. There was nothing better to bring our district together than to give our teacher a Priesthood blessing.
One last story to tell. On Sunday one of the councelors in our Branch Presidency taught the lesson in Priesthood. He is so great, he was mission companions with Elder Holland and grew up with Elder Anderson. He was comparing mission work to Christ's earthly ministry. He said that Christ submitted himself completely to the will of the father. Missionaries are very similar he explains, "obedience with exactness shows that you are submitting yourself to the will of the father." That has been my favorite quote from the mission so far. I use that in everything. I can tell you that that quote is going to be my standard for the rest of my mission.
Well my time in now up. I only get 30 mins to read and type. I love you all so much! I love being the Lord's missionary and doing his work. "I will say and do what he himself would say and do if he was ministering to the very people to which he has called me."
I love the Church and know that this is the only and true Church of Jesus Christ who is my Lord and my Savior. I love being here and love what I am doing. Thank you so much for the prayers, packages, and letters! Recieving them are my favorite part of the day.
Keep the work going strong in Colorado and never be shy of bringing someone into the arms of our Savior.I love you all so much and wish you the best!
Peace out! Elder Tyson Rigby Walker
Monday, November 9, 2009
HELLO!! This is the first time I have been able to write a letter. Today is our first P-day, so being the obedient one that I am, I decided to write today. So many things have happened since my arrival last Wednesday. This is the biggest thing I 've learned since then... THE CHURCH IS TRUE!! The Spirit is so strong and I love being here in the MTC. I always knew the Church is true, but being here amplifies that testimony by millions.
Our teachers are great! We have Brother Laubaugh and Sister Walker. They are both so great and so filled with the Spirit. Our Branch Presidency is great as well. I have been called as our District Leader! We have 10 Elders in our District and I love every one of them so much . It's been a challenge being District Leader, but I can feel of my Heavenly Father's love for me.
A few days ago I had the opportunity to interview my district. What a great day that was. I had felt direct revelation for each Elder as they met with me. I was able to answer their questions and feel the inspiration to their issues. I felt even more love for them as I worked with my Heavenly Father to address their needs. It's also been great because my leadership skills are able to be used. About our District, 8 of us are going to ID-POC and the others are going to CT-Hartford. We have all grown so close and love each other so much. One of our Elders is from England. He lives in Dedam (I have no idea where that is) It is great to hear his accent though. Our whole district picks up on his accent sometimes which is rather annoying, but as long as that's all that annoys me, I'll be fine. Another Elder is from Colorado. He lives in Thornton. He and I always brag about how beautiful Colorado is and such.
Now about my Companion. He is probably my largest road block here at the MTC. I'm trying to make it a goal not to say bad things, but let's just say that he is one of those Elders that's here just because his parents made him. He falls asleep all the time and mopes around. I have ZERO tolerance for Elders that mope, because that is not the reason we came out here on missions. Anyway, that is all the bad things I'll say. Know that I am working hard to get along with him and I'm praying my guts out to help my heart love him. I've talked to my teachers about this, well actually they both came to me and said they felt like I needed to talk to them. They have been such great support. I've even asked Elder Spencer, our Brit, for a blessing. Elder Shipley, my companion, is my comp for a reason, I'll just have to seek what that is.
Well I have other letters to write. I just have 1 request. Please send packages!!! I loved the CD's, but I need something from home. All my Elders get treats and such and I'm jealous! HaHa... Included in my treat package, can I have sent: 1. My slipper shoes (the blue/gray ones) they are the ones I wear all the time. 2. My jacket from London, (the white and grey stripes) 3. Shirts from my closed. (the light blue and the green one.) They both have collars.
I think that's all I need right now. I just want you all to know how much I love and don't miss you. (not in a mean way, just that my Heavenly Father has blessed me so much with no home-sickness) Please tell Brailee, Daiken and Estee that I love them so much and loved their Halloween costumes! I have those pictures on the wall.
Anyway, the Field is White, and I'm going to go harvest it! I love you all so much!!!
Peace and Love!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Today is Prep Day and the first time I've had a chance to get online to write you an e-mail. All is well with me. I love the MTC!! It is so great! I really love the spirit and the blessings I see in my life daily as I serve the Lord. The spirit is so strong here. There is never a moment when I don't have the spirit burning in my heart. I think it is because this is dedicated land.
My teachers are great! I have two of them, Sister Walker and Brother Laubaugh. They have been such an inspiration to me. I have grown to love and appreciate them and their spirit.
My district is great! We are all Elders with 5 companionships. I have been called as the district leader by my Branch Presidency. I have had the calling for a week now and have loved every minute of it. Being district leader is challenging but yet super rewarding. I have been blessed with the love for all of my Elders and do all I can to help them succeed. I had the chance to interview them and know of their struggles and their weaknesses but love them so much that I want to do all I can to help uplift them. The spirit has been so strong with the calling as well. I always know answers to questions and concerns. I know I wouldn't have answers if I wasn't called as their distric leader.
We went to the temple today. What a blessing to have the Provo Temple so close. I loved it! What a great break from MTC life and just go and soak up the spirit.
I wrote a letter today that has more details about my life here and my companion. Please pray for my companionship, it isn't going very well. You will see why in the letter.
Well my laundry is done, I should get my shirts before they wrinkle.
I love you so very much. Know that my testimony has grown so much. I love this gospel and I have had such a great relationship with my Heavenly Father and my Savior. They are great and the church is great. Love you tons and tons. Hope all is well.
love, Elder Walker.
p.s. one of my Elders is from Dedam, England and is writing Chelsee. It's great!
another p.s. Please send me packages!! My Elders are getting snacks and stuff from home and I'm jealous! I need something!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
After the security check, you can view through a glass dome as the passengers head down the escalator toward the train to the terminals. This is my very last view as I sent him off to serve the Lord. "Go Forth With Faith" ... Love you Bud!
Here's Tyson sitting at Devin's home watching the pre MTC videos. Looks so studious sitting there and not sacked out on the couch!
by Tyson Walker
I am so grateful for those who helped bring the spirit to this meeting with that musical number. I love and appreciate you. It is my prayer that I can continue that spirit and that you will know that the things that are taught today are true.
In my life, I have had to learn to set a lot of goals, and learn how to accomplish them. In High School, I was heavily involved in every school play and musical. In a play, when you are given a script, it is under your own jurisdiction when you memorize and when you prepare yourself for the performances. The Director is there to help guide you, but you determine how much effort you are going to put into a show. It is very difficult, I have learned, to memorize lines and practice your character last second because it affects the whole outcome of your performance. You loose precious time to work on your character and to become comfortable with what you are to do on stage if you don’t take seriously your part in an ensemble.
On the other hand, I have learned that if you do take seriously your role in a cast, prepare yourself, and be obedient to a director, the outcome of your performance is much better.
This is so much how our lives are. We can’t live our lives thinking that we have all the time in the world to work on our own character and to find faith in Christ; we have to start now, if we haven’t already, and continue to work on our goal to return to live with our Heavenly Father. That is why we are told, “Seek first the kingdom of god.” If we first seek the kingdom of God, we then have a great path set out for us. It is much easier to decide now to do what’s right than it is to get in habit of doing wrong and having to re-learn how to do what is right.
Let me share a personal story with you that shows how I had to make a decision to seek first the kingdom of God… I have always wanted to serve a mission. I’ve had the opportunity to watch two of my siblings serve and especially watch as my brother served. He was an example to me, which in turn helped me have the desire to serve. I recently learned that it is not the desire that you gain from watching other people serve but the desire that comes from your own testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ.
I recently had been given an incredible opportunity to be one of four people to attend a theatre program, at a great, Private University, that I loved and so desirably wished to be apart of. On top of the acceptance I was also presented with a scholarship of a significant amount. This was the first time I had seen an alternate route than that of serving a mission, or in other words being tempted with what I thought to be a great thing.
I was then faced with making the hardest decision I had yet to make in my life thus far; was I going to give up a mission that I had such a desire to serve, or was I going to give up this opportunity that I had worked so hard to achieve?
As I was faced with this difficult decision and weighing out my options, I was reminded of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount in Mathew 6. (quote) “For your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God.” (end quote)
I obeyed Christ’s teachings and remembered, “Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.” Our Heavenly Father promises us that if we have a true desire to know then he will show us.
I was then lead to Doctrine and Covenants section 4 where revelation was given to the Prophet Joseph Smith stating, (quote) “if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work.” (end quote) I had the desire to serve and obviously made the decision to do so. I am so grateful that I have made the decision to put God first.
When I first got my call I really had to assure myself that I made the right decision. I had a really hard time with knowing that I gave up this opportunity to only be called to Idaho, but after a lot of prayer and time in the temple I have come to know that this is where my Heavenly Father wants me to willingly go and be his servant to teach his children that he loves so much.
A few weeks ago I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Palmyra, New York where so many important Church events took place such as The First Vision where Joseph Smith inquired of the lord seeking to know which church to join. After reading James 1:5, (quote) “if any of you lack wisdom, let him as of god, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (end quote) Joseph then acted on the scripture and inquired of the lord in the Sacred Grove. Joseph saw and talked with God the Father and his son Jesus Christ and was given the divine mission as a prophet of God.
Palmyra is also where Joseph received the Book of Mormon, which is another testament of Jesus Christ. Just down the road is where the church was organized. It was great to see first hand all of this history, but it was even better to feel the spirit testify to me that Joseph was and is the prophet of this dispensation and that Christ’s true church is again here on earth and the work will not stop from progressing.
When Joseph was asked by a local newspaper about the church he declared the articles of faith as well as what is known as the Standard of Truth.
Joseph declared (quote) "...the standard of truth has been erected; No un hallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the great Jehovah shall say the work is done." (end quote)
When this was declared I’m sure that most people that didn’t have faith thought this was crazy. The membership of the church was few at the time and many persecutions were happening to those members, so, to boldly state that no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing would be an unrealistic statement if it came from an ordinary man.
We now look at where we stand today at more than 15 million members of the church and missionaries all over the world. That to me is proof enough that Joseph Smith is truly a prophet of God.
I know that Joseph is a prophet and that he did indeed restore the true church of Jesus Christ. How grateful I am that he did all he could to seek first the kingdom of God. I am humbled when I think about all that Joseph did go through to restore this gospel for us. He was even martyred in the name of truth and sealed his testimony with his blood.
As a missionary I will declare this message that Joseph desired everyone to hear. I gladly give my time and efforts to assist in this work, for in this there is true happiness.
John Taylor, the third President of the Church, wrote, (quote) “Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it” (end quote)
Another great example to me is our own elder brother, Jesus Christ and how he atoned for my sins to make it possible for me to return and live again with my Father in Heaven. Christ gave his life so that it makes it possible for us to make it back to the Kingdom of God.
In Revelations chapter 20 verse 12 it talks about this book of life and how we will be judged by the things which were written in the books according to our works. I like to think that we all have our own journalist angel who keeps records of everything we do in our lives, good and bad. When we repent, the bad works get erased. When we die, we will be judged by our acts and faith. We have to start now to make sure our books are only written with good acts and that Christ will one day say to us, well done my good and faithful servant.
I testify to you that by seeking first the Kingdom of God you will find true happiness. I am truly happy and excited to serve a mission. Christ gave all he could to teach his people, I can do the same for the people in Idaho.
I am so grateful for this ward especially those who have taught me in seminary, Sunday school, and Priesthood. I have been prepared to do the work by your example and teachings. I am grateful for my family and friends who came today; your example to me has been such an influence in my life. I am grateful for my parents, for their continuous love and support. I love you so much and am truly grateful for your loving example to me.
I know this is the work of God, this church would not be what it is if Joseph was not a Prophet. I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God right along side the Bible. I know that our Heavenly Father has a plan for us and if we seek first the kingdom of god there we will be truly happy. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
You are hereby called to serve in the...
The letter - IDAHO POCATELLO MISSION
enter the MTC on October 28, 2009