Monday, January 11, 2010

January 11, 2010

I just completed the 7th baptism so far on Saturday. Her name is Jenna Miller and she was the "golden" contact. She just moved here to St. Anthony from Washington. She was contacted by ward members and they set up the lessons for us. When we met her the first time we committed her to baptism and just taught her 4 times then she was baptized. I love it when that happens. Well come to think of it, most of the people we baptized we haven't had to "fight" them to the font. Long story short, St. Anthony Idaho is the best.

I received a package from my best friends! When missionaries receive a package its like we loose all control and rip it open! It's quite funny actually. I got the package from Ashante, Hedy Lu, and Garrett. They sent me all sorts of stuff like sun flower seeds, spider-man crayons, bubble gum, and a puzzle. There was much more than that but that gives you an idea of what was in there. They included pictures of themselves and a sweet spider-man inner tube. Receiving packages makes the day so much better.

As missionaries we have a teaching pool, or people that we are teaching. The problem that we are running into right now is that we are baptizing everyone in our teaching pool! The members saw how successful we were and how much work we were doing that I think they just gave up on trying to find people for us to teach. After baptizing 7 we now have a teaching pool of 6. Kinda crazy that we don't have that many to teach when we cover 10 wards.

The referrals that we do get though are great and then get baptized so I guess I can't complain. I get really frustrated with people when they say they don't know anyone or there isn't anyone to teach but there are! Then I think about Colorado where there are more than plenty of people to teach! I didn't do the work that I should have done when I lived in a town with plenty of people to teach and now I'm getting upset with people that really don't know of people that aren't already members of the church. I hope you all back home will try to do your part for the Elders serving you. We cannot fulfill our purpose without the help of the members.

I hope you all are having a great New Year! I know 2010 is going to be a great year. I look forward to the work that we get to do. By the way our mission had 750 baptisms this last year. We had 80 in December. The IPM rocks. I love you all.

Peace and Love,

Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Week 9 1/2 - January 4, 2010

Family and Friends,

So I am very excited to be staying in St. Anthony. I love the people here and the work that we are doing. I am creating this bond with this area that when the time comes to leave I really wont want to. When President Colton was talking about splitting this area I had a hard time with even thinking about other missionaries "poaching" my area.We are still seeing a bunch of success.

We set another baptism date on Saturday which brings our total to 5. Our goal is to beat Decembers baptisms with 7 instead of the mere 6 we had last month. haha I can't believe in my first transfer we had 6 baptisms. Heavenly Father has blessed us with so much.

Yesterday we went tracting for the second time the whole time I've been here. It's funny because I think my total tracting hours is now 45 mins. haha How blessed am I to be in an area where I don't do much of my least favorite part of missionary work!

While tracting we ran into this boy named Shawn. He was visiting a member family for Christmas. We asked if we could share a message with him and shared a brief restoration. He had wide eyes the whole time and his response was that he thinks it is so great that God would call a prophet once again to lead and guide us today. We gave him a Book of Mormon to read and he already read the chapter we gave him (Moroni 10) and prayed. He said that his Mom is Christian and his Dad Catholic; his whole life he has been confused. When we went back today we taught a more detailed 1st and asked a few more questions. His answers were so profound and so genuine. He's 14 and had more interest in the gospel than most adults we teach. The only problem is that he lives in L.A. and was flying back home today. He said that he would really like to continue learning from us and that he wished we could keep teaching him. We said, "that's alright we have missionaries in California too." He had no idea the church was around the world. We described the L.A. temple and said that was a temple of our church. He was so excited. Too bad he isn't our investigator anymore. We just set up a golden investigator for the L.A. mission.

Yesterday I experienced my most spiritual low of the mission. We have been teaching a boy named Carson H_____ for a while and yesterday when we went back to teach him his Dad came to the door and told us that Carson wasn't interested anymore and that we shouldn't come back. I get sad thinking about it because Carson is such a great kid and knew so much about the church. We don't think that Carson actually said that and that his parents are still bitter towards the church. It's terrible because Carson's dad served as an Assistant when he served as a missionary but now is less active and doesn't like the church.

I was asked just the other day by our Zone leaders what the hardest part about serving a mission is. My response was that- It's hard to see somebody's potential and then watch them not reach for it. That's how it is for Carson only worse; he has great potential but his parents are restricting him from achieving it.

Here in Idaho we teach so many over aged youth and part member families. Most of our converts are teenagers or pre teen kids. It really makes me appreciate the way I was raised in the gospel and the structure I have. Some families are so closed minded and restrict their children from growing. As a missionary you really want to sit the parents down and tell them how to raise their children but we don't necessarily have the authority to do that.

Yesterday Sarah Ferwerda, one of our investigators with a baptism date, bore her testimony in church! It was her first Sunday in her new ward and the first time we heard her say that she knows that Joseph Smith is a prophet and the Book of Mormon is true! Elder Call and I sat there with our jaws hanging down in our laps. We were about to fall of the bench out of shock! The Lord works in mysterious ways...

Well that's about all the exciting things that happened this week. The work is going forth. Although I have my ups and downs, when I completely consecrate my days to the Lord I find myself with the most joy. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord's kingdom once again established on the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I love sharing my testimony with people everyday. God is truly our loving Heavenly Father; Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world; Joseph Smith was and is the prophet for the world.

Peace and Love,
Elder Walker