Monday, February 22, 2010

Feb 22, 2010 ... IPM

Hello everyone,
This week has been quite the eventful week. We got a call on Tuesday night that our 75 year old investigator, Robert, had a heart attack and was taken to the Rexburg hospital. Robert Terrell is the one that is going to be baptized on the 6th of March. We immediately canceled our appointments for the night and rushed down to Rexburg. We found him in the ER just as they were strapping him up to take him to Idaho Falls to a heart specialist. When we got there his wife Rose said that we got there at a perfect time because they were just about to go. We asked brother Terrell if he would like a blessing and he replied that he would. We gave him a blessing of comfort and council. I don't remember what was said in the blessing except that the phrase, "everything in your life has prepared you for this moment", has stuck with me since that time. Well they found out that his heart had sped up to about 250 bpm which sparked the heart attack. He now has a pace maker and defibrillator to keep his heart on track. When we got to the hospital his first concern was if he was going to make it to his baptism. We told him that it didn't matter if he did or if his father in heaven called him home that we would take care of his baptism either way. We stopped by to see him yesterday after church and he is doing well. He told us that we are to plan for him to be baptized on the 6th of March unless his doctor tells him otherwise; I'm thinking we are going to have to postpone it...

That event has made me really stop and reflect on the authority that I hold to stand in place of my Heavenly Father and use his power to bless his child. I'm sure that it was hard for Heavenly Father to watch one of his children experience the pain that Brother Terrell went through but to know that I can stand in his place to do what he himself would do is such a humbling experience. I told you last week about Trevon's baptism and how that experience is my most memorable so far on the mission. From the first time I met him he said that he wanted to be baptized so he could have the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Trevon asked me to confirm him and give him that gift that he so desired. That event and the event of Brother Terrell have made me really respect and understand the significance of the priesthood. Think about it, how great is it that we have the priesthood on this earth to be able to give the gift of a God. How great it is to bless someone with comfort and counsel literally from our Father in Heaven. I know that Joseph Smith restored that priesthood to this earth from Peter, James, and John; Christ's original Apostles. I know that our Father in Heaven has blessed us with this power so we can be blessed. I will forever honor and cherish this authority that I hold.

I had the strangest dream last night. I had a dream that Iver Johnson was called to the Idaho Pocatello Mission and that he was assigned to St. Anthony and I served him as his trainer. Weird. Maybe it'll happen...

Well that's all the exciting news here in St. Anthony Idaho. I hope you all are having great experiences too. Remember that we can always expect miracles.

peace and love,

Elder Walker

Friday, February 19, 2010

St Anthony is going to get Translated

Hello everyone,

So this week wasn't as exciting as last week due to the fact that we didn't have any Apostles come speak to us. We have had a great week though. Saturday concluded baptism number nine. Trevon E was finally baptized after lots of prayer and fasting for his parents to soften their hearts. Trevon asked me to confirm him a member of the church which, if you knew him, was a huge honor. Treven was more prepared for his baptism than anyone else that has been baptized since I've been here. I will never forget the first time I met treven nearly 12 weeks ago and I asked him why he wanted to be baptized, his response was more profound than I think he realized at the time; he told me that the reason he wanted to be baptized was so that he could have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost to protect him. Keep in mind that answer came from a 10 year old.

We've been teaching this man who is 75 named Robert Terrell from Colorado. He just recently moved here to get married to his 4th wife after loosing the past 3 to cancer and sicknesses. He has been so prepared throughout his life to receive the restored gospel. I can't even describe to you the experiences that he has had that have led up to this point of him meeting with us. He has experienced more heart ache and more sorrow than any one person I have ever met, yet he has keep looking forward to see how he can make the future better. The reason he married his current wife was so that he could give her a better life than the one she has had with the death of her husband due to illness. That goes to show the kind of man Robert Terrell is. Well we met with him two days ago to teach him for the 3rd time. While teaching him we got on a conversation about how the world is today. He spoke up and said, "it's going to be up to the Mormons to save this world from corruption and I'm ready to join them." That was way cool to experience someone recognizing the power of the church. We have set up to go to Idaho Falls with Robert and his wife Rose to the temple visitor center. He said I'll agree to go on one condition; I get to take you out to dinner at Chuck-a-rama. Anyone who knows me knows that I am so excited for that! I would always have my birthday dinners there when I lived in Utah every year until I moved to Colorado.

We also set another baptism date with Aaron Boots. This is the first time he has committed to a date since he started meeting with the missionaries three years ago. He will be baptized on the 27th of this month. He was super emotional when he accepted the date. Aaron is going to be such a diligent member of the church.

I love this work. I know that I am on the Lord's errand. I am the Lord's missionary and will bring the world his truth.

Peace and Love,

Elder Walker

p.s. this stake has seen 9 baptisms in 10 weeks... That is remarkable

Elder Scott

Hello everyone,

It is now official, the St. Anthony stake has now been redone and is starting new. We sustained 5 new bishops, lost 4 ward mission leaders, got a new ward, and now have new ward boundries for 9 of the 11 wards... pretty much the most exciting thing that has happened around here since the Teton Dam broke in '76. This change had been the topic of discussion in every house we have gone to. We were told what the boundries were going to be before they announced it to the stake due to our investigators and their fellowshippers. So now that the word is out we have been trying to re-pair our investigators with families that can take them to church and such. Pretty much chaos.

Saturday was definately on the top 5 of my most spiritual experiences. Elder Richard G. Scott is an amazing man. We left for Idaho Falls on Friday night to stay with some Elders down there so the drive would be shorter for us in the morning. We got up around 5 to get ready and to drive the rest of the way to Pocatello to be seated and spiritually preparing at 7. We had the whole mission in the Alameda Stake center in Pocatello, roughly 190 missionaries. It was quite funny actually because we would look down to our scriptues to read a few verses then look up to see if Elder Scott had come in yet, then down to read some more verses. Finally Elder Scott came in around ten to 8:00. The whole mission just stood up in silence as Elder Scott walked with Elder Snow and Elder Hammond to the stand with President and Sister Colton. Elder Scott asked us to shake hands at the start so he could get out quickly to a meeting at noon. He asked us to tell him our name and where we were from. I learned something about Elder Scott that day. Number one he is shorter than I thought, and number two he has more qenuine love than any other person I have ever shook hands with. We all sat back down anxiously awaiting his message. To be honest, I didn't care too much for what he had to tell us. Not to make that sound like I was disregarding the message of a Prophet, its just that he was talking about marriage and getting married in the temple and such. My thoughts are that I have 21 months left before I need to think and/or worry about that. During his talk he brought up one of the Sisters who is learning English. He asked her a few questions and then said,"as an Apostle of Jesus Christ I bestow upon you the gift on tongues." My favorite part was the last 10 minutes when he bore his witness of the Savior. He said, "Elders and Sisters, I have been talking to you as Elder Scott, I am now going to talk to you as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ one of the 15 who holds all keys of the priesthood in the Kingdom of God. Me as Richard G. Scott doesn't mean anything, I am nothing, but what I represent and testify of means everything." at that point the Spirit just filled to room, He, the spirit, was preparing us for a testimony of our Savior given by Elder Scott. I don't remember everything that was said other than his last sentence that I will never forget. He said, "I bear solemn witness that he lives... I know Him." I will never forget those words that were spoken by an Apostle of the Lord.

So let me just tell you transfer information with a little story of how I found out about transfers... Our zone leaders called us last night around 9:45 which is weird because they never call to give us transfer information, they usually just send it out in a voicemail. So Elder Dangerfield says, "well Elder Walker and Elder Call, I have bad news." We were thinking alright well one of us is getting transfered, that's cool. Then he proceeds to tell us that President has seen it fit to white wash St. Anthony or to transfer us both out. I was like yeah right, you're joking, why did you call us. He then said that we wished he was joking and that we are number 3 and 4 in the baggage line. Oh at that point I lost it. I was like are you kidding me! We just got new ward boundries and all of our investigators don't have fellowshippers yet, I am calling president, there is no way they can take us both out of here! Finally after getting me heated for 5 minutes Elder Lagazo our other zone leader gets on to tell us that they were joking, they just wanted to see how we would react to that. Let me just tell you something, I have been in theatre for a very long time and I have not seen/heard anyone be as convincing as Elder Dangerfield was last night. I still get heated thinking about that mean joke. Long story short, Elder Call and I are staying in St. Anthony for another transfer. I am very excited and thankful for this opportunity. I know that there is still work for me to do here and I am ready to get it done.

well I love you all so much. I hope you know how much I really appreciate you. I am loving each day more and more as a missionary. This is such a great opportunity to stay here once again. I look forward to telling you about the growth that will happen in the next 6 weeks here.

peace and love,
Elder Walker

February 1


I just passed up my three month mark a few days ago, my second transfer is almost over, and we just concluded our 8th baptism in the St. Anthony Stake in two months. Where has the time gone? Like I said in the last e-mail, every week seems to go faster and faster.

We just got an e-mail from President Colton telling us that Elder Richard G. Scott of the quorum of the twelve and Elder Steven E. Snow of the presidency of the seventy are going to be at our mission conference this Saturday. Elder Call and I are going to drive down to Idaho Falls on Friday night and stay with some Elders there in Iona then we'll go with them to Pocatello Saturday morning for the conference. I'm really excited for this conference; it'll be one that I will always remember.

Saturday night when we were talking with President Crapo (in the Stake Presidency and who we live with) he said to us that they are going to make a big change in the stake that will give us some work to do. We tried to get the information out of him but he wouldn't tell us; he said that they would be announcing it in church the next day. So the big news is that the St. Anthony stake has called a stake meeting this Saturday night for all 10 wards in which they will be changing all of the ward boundries and adding a new ward. They will be releasing 4 bishops and calling 5 new ones (one for the new ward). When we saw President Walker (the stake president) we asked him, jokingly, when are you going to update our area book for us? We are going to have to take a three inch binder that is full of teaching records and ward information and move them all to their appropriate wards. That is going to be super fun...

Well this past week was super slow in teaching. We didn't teach too many lessons but we did set another baptism date! There is this boy who has been taking the lessons for quite a few months. He has such a desire to recieve the Holy Ghost and to be baptized. It's been really hard to see this 10 year old with such a desire to come unto the Savior but that his parents wouldn't let him. At one point Trevon's Mom mocked Elder Call's testimony. We have prayed and prayed for their hearts to be softened. We dropped by last Monday night to pick up some CDs that I left when we knocked on the door Jenine (Trevon's Mom) answered and said, "so we've decided that we want Trevon to get baptized on the 13th of Feb". We are so excited for him and for his parents to have realized the importance of this day. Trevon has asked me to give the talk on the Holy Ghost at his baptism and to confirm him in church the next day. So family, please pray that I don't get transfered because I would hate to have to tell him that I wont be at his baptism now that he finally has a day.

Mom: Happy Birthday on Wednesday!!!

Have a great week everyone!

peace and love,

Elder Walker

Week 13

Hello there,

So it seems to me that the weeks are just speeding by. I can't even believe that this transfer is now more than half way through and that I've been out nearly 3 months. Every week seems to go faster and faster.

I loved seeing the pictures of the baby! Elder Call didn't think it was appropriate to have a picture of Estee on the table naked but I just laughed. It's just who she is. So has the name finally been decided? Briggan Samuel Harrop? You better make your mind up soon or this kid is going to be confused! I'm already confused as to what to tell people my new nephew's name is.

On Feb. 6th we are having a mission conference with an Apostle and a member of the presidency of the Seventy down in Pocatello. We wont know who they are going to be yet but President Colton told us that he will know by next week. How cool is that though? Apparently Elder Bednar came in May so probably not him but if it is I will make a connection with him through Adam. I'll tell him, "hey you know my brother-in-law." That way we can talk more than just saying hello. Oh p.s. a lot of people know Adam here. Just the other day I was talking with a lady whose husband works at BYU. She said that she lived in Decatur so I asked her if she knew Adam's parents she did and then went on to say, "I think their son was student body pres when he was 17." I was like yeah he's a pretty cool guy. She then asked how I knew him. I said well he married my sister. She was so excited to hear about Adam again and says congrats on the baby.

I had a very spiritual lesson this last week. I've told you about our investigator Aaron and how missionaries have been teaching him for 3 years now. Well we were on exchanges this week with the Spanish Elders which was the same day that we were going to teach Aaron. Elder Hernandez and I went with the ward mission leader and taught from Luke 15:1-7 about the "ninety and nine" and "the one". Aaron is definitely "the one". We told him that the Savior is still trying to bring him back to the fold and that he is only continuing to loose himself. The scripture says that Heavenly Father's joy is greater for the one that repents and joins the fold then it is for the ones that are doing the right thing. Finally, speaking from the Spirit, I said, "Aaron, look at your daughter, do you love her?" He said through tears, "yes". Then I said, "If you truly love her you will do anything in your power to keep her for ever." The Spirit was so strong in that lesson. Aaron knows the church is true, he knows the Book of Mormon is true, and he knows that Joseph Smith is a prophet. Aaron then proceeded to ask, "what do I need to do to get baptized?" I was about to stand up and shout the Hallelujah Chorus! Aaron Boots wants to get baptized! This investigator who has met with missionaries for 3 years has now developed the desire to be baptized! Aaron is definitely one of the people I was sent to St. Anthony to find. It's cool to see experiences like that and how the Spirit is the one that converts, not missionaries.

Last night at our dinner appointment there was a boy in the family named Tyson. I was so confused last night! When ever they would talk to him or tell him something I would think they were talking to me. One time they got upset with him and I got offended inside because I thought I was getting in trouble! I haven't been out long enough for that name not to register with me yet so there were several times when I would start to respond to this family but then realize that they weren't talking to me. Weird!

Well I love this work. I love the Gospel. I love my family. I love my friends. I hope you all have a great week and will continue to be awesome.

Peace and Love

Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

Missionary Work in Idaho Jan 18

Well hello there family and friends,

Due to the success in December we are now a little slow in January. We have not had much interest from people and it seems like the possible baptisms keep falling through. It's sad because I was so used to the baptisms we were having in Dec. that not having a baptism every Saturday is really a tough thing. I continue loving to work here in St. Anthony and hope I don't get transferred.

We have a family that has to wait until March to get baptized, due to approval from the First Presidency, so I told President Colton that means I'm staying in St. Anthony at least two more transfers to see that happen... don't think that's going to happen. President Walker, the stake president in St. Anthony, called President Colton for something the other day and mentioned to him that the English Elders are to finish out their mission in this stake... I don't think he succeeded either.

I got a phone call from the mission office around 1:00 PM on Friday telling me that I have a new Nephew! Sister Parkins said she would sing me a lullaby but I probably wouldn't like it. I'm so glad that Britnee and the Baby (Samuel or Briggin) are doing well. I need some help from everyone to make sure some of his first words are "uncle tys", that means that Devin is not allowed to be around that baby until I can be there to help him understand who his real favorite uncle is. I'm not to worried about Estee because she already knows that I'm favorite, but the new baby wont see the light for 21 more months.

This week of missionary work... The coolest story for this week... the missionaries have been working with this guy named Aaron for a long time. In fact his three year anniversary with missionaries was yesterday. We taught him on Friday and showed him "Between Heaven and Earth", a video about temples and family. During the video Elder Holland says "I can't imagine not being sealed to my wife in heaven because it wouldn't be heaven if I didn't have her forever." That sentence really struck Aaron and now we think he is going to be making some serious changes. We had a powerful lesson after that about eternal families. Aaron loves his family but has something that is holding him up. His wife gets emotional every time we go over to teach because she wants more than anything for their family to be sealed together in the temple. When we bore testimony of eternal families and the power of the temple Aaron was in tears. He understands what he needs to do and how to get there, he just has something that is holding him back. I love being able to testify of family and the temple because then my own testimony strengthens and I realize everyday the importance of keeping your family close to your heart.

Well all is well here in Idaho. We are now back on our cycle of meat and potatoes for dinner appointments though. It seems to be a month of meat and potatoes and then a few days of pizza, a month of meat and potatoes and then a few days of pizza, etc. I'm pretty sure I have gravy in my blood stream all the time. I am working out a lot though because there is no way I am going to gain 40lbs like the average missionary in this mission does.

I've learned something the last few months of being here and that is that I really don't like sending e-mails; it's not very personal on my part. If you send me an e-mail, I will most likely write you back through snail mail. If you have the time or the desire I would highly encourage you to write to me through snail mail too because then I will be able to keep your letter forever. I know that's a lot to ask for in this day and age because of how easy it is to shoot off a quick e-mail, but that way I will have letters forever.

I hope all is well for everyone and life is great.

Peace and Love,
Elder Walker

p.s. Happy anniversary to Devin and Lianne a long time ago!