Monday, July 19, 2010

New Way 7/19/2010

Hello my great family!

How are ya? I'm doing great!

Man, time just keeps flying by! Can you believe that this is week 5 of this transfer?!?!? I can't. My 6th transfer just came and went like the wind in good ol' St. Anthony. The assistants and President Colton are meeting Wednesday to begin transfer meetings! When I was in St. Anthony one of our ward mission leaders told me that there will be a day when I get on my knees and plead with Heavenly Father to slow the time down, I'm now starting to understand what he meant by that and I'm not even past my year mark yet. It'll be interesting to see how the time goes next year.

Let me just tell you, this week was GREAT! I loved every second of it. As I told you last week we had our 3 day leadership conference here in Pocatello; it was fantastic! My mind was completely blown away and hasn't exactly returned to earth quite yet. Elder Holland has completely changed missionary work world wide. We now have what's called the new "simplified" curriculum. It is way inspired and has already worked wonders on our zone. One companionship set 3 baptism dates in just 2 days by applying the new curriculum. I must say though that if I was really to give you any details about it you would all be super confused except Chelsee because it is a spin off of Preach my Gospel. I guess Devin would kinda get it. What you need to know is that this is the difference in missionary work; we are no longer going to learn the lessons in PMG but will be completely focused on this new "simplified curriculum" for our missionary work. This doesn't mean that we disregard PMG, because this is all taken from it in just a more detailed way, what it means is that we focus more on the Spirit of prophesy and revelation for our investigators and only teach them what they need. Intense! The Pocatello Central Zone will be reporting 9 baptisms this month compared to the 0 from June, that is the difference in the new missionary work. And I'm pretty sure that's why President Colton put me in this zone.

Pretty much that meeting has been the focus for the week. We are doing really well and are starting to see miracles happen in our area. I'm excited to write next week and give you an update for what's happened with applying this new curriculum.

It was so fun to see the Bosen Family last week! It was really fun to see the other side of "missionary life". The reason I say that is because I knew Elder Bosen pretty well and knew all his missionary stories. When I met with his family they didn't know half of them or didn't know much detail to his Castle Rock stories, so I filled them in with details and awesome stories. The first thing Sister Bosen said when I met her was, "I guess Benji is supposed to marry your sister huh?" HaHa! YES!!! It's all been arranged! I don't even care if they get married while I'm on my mish just as long as it's in the Rexburg or Idaho Falls temple! This is going to be so great! Elder Bosen can be my best friend and my brother all at the same time! But seriously though, Chelsee, you gotta make this happen... I have it all arranged for you. Plus he's a great missionary so you can rest assured that he'll be a great husband. If you think about it, the Lord wants you to be married to him too... We wouldn't have gotten to know him as well if dad wasn't called as Bishop, I was sent to the IPM then got transferred to the same zone that he lives in for his homecoming, he's going to go to school at ISU which is in my zone still, he really helped me to get on my mission, his parents are now acquainted with mom and dad... the list goes on and on. Let's just recognize the little details here in the grand picture. I'm so excited!

That was my tangent for the day.

I hope all is well at home. I hope everyone is happy and well off.

Thank you all for your love and support.

I love this work. I love my companion. I love my area. I love the IPM.

Peace and Love,
Elder Walker

Monday, July 12, 2010

Great Week 7/12/2010


For those of you who have served a mission.... be jealous. I say be jealous because I am sad to tell you that your mission does not even come close to qualifying to the amount of awesome that the IPM has.... sorry.

So with that start into let me just tell you what is going to happen this week that is going to be so great! As I told you last week President Colton received a letter from Elder Holland with the new Preach my Gospel DVDs, with that letter and videos we are having a three day conference for all leadership in the mission (i.e. trainers, district leaders, and zone leaders) here in Pocatello at the institute building on ISU. All the leaders from the mission will be rooming with companionships in Pokey, Blackfoot, and American Falls. We will have a trainer from Rexburg staying with us. The conference will be Tues through Thurs from 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM then we will work in our areas with the extra missionary from 6:00 - 9:00 applying what we learned from the conference. When we get back to the conference the next day we will evaluate what we learned from the previous night in proselyting. It's gunna be big!

I had my first baptism in Pokey on Saturday for brother Mark Soto. He's in his 30s and is having a baby really soon. When he was dressing he made the comment to Elder Fernberg that he has known the church is true for a long time but its now that he had felt that he was ready to make the covenants. His sister-in-law was there, who is not a member, and was in tears the whole time. She told us that she wants to go to church; we'll be following up on that this week.

I had the opportunity to confirm Brother Soto yesterday in church. I don't know about you but for me a confirmation is much more rewarding than performing a baptism. I'm glad that I've been able to confirm so many converts on my mission.

Yesterday in the Alameda third ward was definitely on my top 3 most spiritual sacrament meetings ever. We had Bro. Soto's confirmation, Elder Fernberg and I did a musical number with a 7 year old boy who sang "I am a child of God" which brought everyone in the congregation to tears, and the Bishop and his counselor were the speakers on Tithing and Obedience. It was so so so great! We had two investigators there and the one who we sat with, Lori Allison, was balling the whole time. She was recently a victim of domestic violence from her boyfriend and when that boy, Beau, sang I am a child of God she couldn't hold anything back, she was balling.

We were able to set a baptism date with an "eternal" investigator yesterday. His name is Brandon Beers. He's 16 and has been meeting with missionaries for 5 years!! Let me just put some things in perspective for you about Brandon. He has read the Book of Mormon 7 times, he's read Preach my Gospel, He's more active than most of the teenagers in his ward, he's been in Seminary for 2 years, and he says "when I go on my mission..., and he gets asked to give talks at the sacrament services at the nursing home down the street. What 16 year old member or non-member do you know that does that? I don't know of a single one. What's been happening now is he is teaching us the missionary lessons because he knows them better than most greenie missionaries that come out. Awesome huh? I think so.

Well yesterday as Brandon was teaching us about Prophets we came to the conclusion that he needs the Holy Ghost now more than ever to prepare him for his mission. When we talked about that for a while I asked Brandon when he knows that he'll be ready to be baptized. He told us that his date is going to be the 24th of July. The ward council, us, and Brandon are fasting today for his dad to say yes. Please keep him in your prayers.

That's about it for the missionary work here in Pokey! We had a very very good week this week and I know that next week will be just as good.

peace and love,
Elder Walker


What a great week! I am loving Pocatello more and more each week! I love that everything is so close and that we can actually talk to people on the street.

We have had a successful and extremely busy week. First off I went to my first zone leader council on Friday with all the zone leaders of the mission, the assistants, and President Colton. What a power house. I loved it. I didn't know the work that goes on behind the scenes of missionary work. I had no idea what the zone leaders had to do or the council they received. I really look forward to the next one on the 30th. We rode up to Idaho Falls for the meeting with the assistants and they informed me that we got a new zone leader last week due to some emergency transfers and such. Guess who the new zone leader is.... it's Elder Call! I was way excited to see my daddy again. I'm excited for this new change. He had just been called the night before the meeting so he still had the "dear in the headlights" look like I did for a few days.

At the zone leader council we learned of some huge changes that are taking place. Since Elder Holland has been the executive director over missionary work he has made huge changes. Well the other day President Colton received a letter that is taking missionary work to a whole new level. With out boring you with all the details pretty much what's going to happen is that the assistants and President are going to have much less to do with the IPM and the zone leaders are going to carry out everything. Kinda like a Stake President with a stake. You don't have the area authority seventy come for every training or for lead out all activities but rather a Stake President and Bishop do the work. That's how our mission is going to run but with much more detail and new plans. We think this is leading to a new version of Preach my Gospel. We'll see. We're having a 3 day zone leader conference in Idaho Falls to learn the "new way" of doing things.

I have learned so much this last week. Such spiritual growth. We had the opportunity to go on exchanges with the assistants on Friday. I went to their area with Elder Curtis; what a great missionary. He taught me so much. I really learned what it takes to be the leader I need to be. I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to do what I need to but I will give 110% to be the best I can be. There is so much to learn from the assistants, I wish I could have spent a week with them. They are great.

Cool story; I got a phone call the other day from a Brother Wild. He told me that he is Elder Bosen's grandfather and he and his daughter (Elder Bosen's mom) would like to take me and Elder Fernberg out to dinner. That's going to be great! I'm way excited! I'm also really confident that I'll be here when he gets off his mission. President Colton told me to be thinking at least 6 months here in the Alameda stake. That's going to be great!

I also got another phone call from a Brother Drake who says, "Elder Walker I was just in Idaho Falls and talked with a missionary by the name of Elder Call, he tells me that you are a great organist. Well I play recitals at the conference center and the tabernacle in Salt Lake all the time. I would like to play the organ with you sometime." My thoughts were, Elder Call is a tool! I don't play the organ! He only said that because he knows how much I hate to play the organ! haha. Maybe if we played a little piano I would be okay but I would be way lost trying to play the organ with one who plays in SLC for recitals!

We have my first baptism in Poky coming up this Saturday. Brother Mark Soto is going to be baptized at 7:00 PM. I'm way excited for this to happen. The best part is that he is excited too.

Well the work is moving forward. I love every minute. I'm smiling all the time and love to do the work of the Lord.

Peace and Love,
Elder Walker