Monday, November 30, 2009

P-Day Letter

Hello Family and Friends!

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.

peace out
Elder Walker

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Letter to those at home on Thanksgiving Day...

Hello Family!

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.

peace out!
Best wishes,
Elder Walker

Thanksgiving Day Email

Happy Thanksgiving family and friends!

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.

Peace out
Elder Walker

First Letter Home from the Mission Field

So I just got the opportunity to finally sit down and write an e-mail. We have prep day on Mondays here in Idaho.

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."

Peace out
With love,
Elder Tyson Walker

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Letter to Mom and Dad

This letter from Tyson was truly a "Pay-Day" letter! Wow! What a great kid he is!!! This is just a segment that Tyson wrote to his mom and dad...

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.

Letter 11-12-09

Hello Family and Friends!

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

Tyson's Letter of Congrats for Calling of DL

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Letter Dated November 5, 2009

My Favorite Family!

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!
Elder Walker

Thursday, November 5, 2009

First Letter Home!

Hello Mom and Dad!

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!