Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Photos from Transfer Day

Elder Walker and Sister Missionaries ("Best Sister Missionaries ever now that Chels is home.")

Last picture with Elder Fernberg on transfer day July 2010

God Speed Elder Fernberg - 8/2/2010

Let me just start by telling you a great thing that is going to happen. Yesterday I got a call from Brother Bosen, he left a message that said, "Elder Walker I have your beans and I also have a question for you, call me back." When I called him back he asked me to speak at Elder Bosen's speaking assignment for his return to Pocatello! He and I will be speaking on the 29th together. So if you want to fly out for Elder Bosen's return you will see me too. haha. How cool is that? This is going to be a great time and one that I will always remember.

On a more serious note. Let me share with you something really close to my heart. I love Elder Fernberg. He and I got along so well. I don't know what it was about him and I but we just meshed really well. On his last night with me in Pocatello we stayed up super late just talking. He and I both shared what we learned from each other and what the Spirit taught us this transfer. This is when he shared with me a story I will never forget:

Elder Fernberg is a Spanish speaking missionary and has been his whole mission. It was extremely unusual for President Colton to have put him in English work especially for such a short time. When he was in the MTC his third day there he was laying in his bed at the end of the day staring at the ceiling with thoughts of the Hispanic people he was going to teach in Idaho, learning the language, and what the Lord had in store for him. At the time of pondering his future he said that a man's image came to his mind as clear as if he was standing in front of him. This man was Hispanic, shorter, a little heavy set, and balding. When this image came to his mind he had a distinct impression that the Lord wanted him to find this man; this man was who he was called to bring into the fold. Elder Fernberg's first year was so focused on finding this man, when he would see someone who looked close to what he pictured he would run to them with a hopeful heart only to find that the person wasn't who he pictured. After about a year and a half of this searching he was starting to give up, he couldn't find who he was looking for. President Colton then called him to English work in Pocatello. He wasn't happy that he was called out of Spanish work and did not want to be working in English. He came to this area with Elder Paterson and together they found the man who was baptized a few weeks ago, Mark Soto. Together they taught him and set a baptism date, then Elder Paterson got transferred and I was put here with Elder Fernberg. Together we continued teaching and preparing Brother Soto for his baptism. The day before his baptism Elder Fernberg was staring at the ceiling again with many thoughts coming to his mind about the baptism like most missionaries do. At that moment the image of the man who he distinctly pictured in the MTC came back to his mind and it was Brother Soto. He told me that the Spirit overwhelmed him more so than any other moment in his life. He found the man who he was sent to find. He fulfilled the purpose he was sent to fulfill. He told me he couldn't describe the emotions that came to him at that moment other than it was one of the happiest moments of his life. No wonder the Lord tells us, "if it so be that ye should labor all your days...and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!" I am now beginning to understand what the Lord is trying to tell us in this scripture.

Now why do I tell you this story? I tell you because it is a testimony to me that this is the Lord's work. To add to that testimony, Elder Fernberg got transferred back into Spanish work. The Lord used him to fulfill his purpose to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." I know this is the Lord's church. We will find success as we "do his work in his way, by his power". Please know how grateful I am to be His missionary. I love every minute of what I am doing. There is no greater work in the world than that of missionary work.

We have had such a great and successful week. I really like being in a threesome because there is never a dull moment. Elder Rust and Elder Rudd are my companions. Try introducing those names to all the people you meet, it is a clear challenge. Anyway we had a successful week because we were able to set 2 baptism dates one of which came from a man who we met while walking home (we were walking home because they took our car away and gave it to the sister missionaries). His name is Joel and invited us to come back. When we went for our appt we taught about prophets and priesthood authority; during the lesson we invited him to be baptized and he accepted for the 18th of Sept. Joel brought is the sixth person that has decided to be baptized in our area with a specific date. The zone has 19 dates set, 17 for this month, which is more than this zone has seen in a long long long time. This success is coming from the new simplified curriculum from Elder Holland. Man, I love missionary work!

I hope all is well back home. I hope everyone is happy and healthy.
Love you all!

Peace and Love,
Elder Walker

Pocatello 24th of July Parade

Transfers Again 7/26/2010

We got transfer info last night. Can you believe that this transfer came and went like that??? Holy smokes. Come Wednesday I have been out 9 months! Wow.

The transfer news is that I am staying in the Alameda stake. The sad news is that Elder Fernberg is getting transferred... I was really hoping he wouldn't. We've really got along this transfer and I've learned so much from him. The good news about that though is that I'll be getting Elder Rudd. I don't know if I've said anything about Elder Rudd in the past but he was my Zone Leader in St. Anthony for 4 1/2 months. I really like Elder Rudd. He and I went on exchanges twice while I was up north and we joked about serving together. When I got the leadership assignment Elder Rudd was the first one I called. He is way awesome. I'm looking forward to the next transfer. We'll also be having Elder Rust with us. Elder Rust goes home in three weeks so they wanted to put us in a threesome until he goes. Elder Rust is currently serving as a District Leader in our zone. Elder Rudd is from Jacksonville Florida and Elder Rust is from Philadelphia.

We were able to set another baptism date with a lady named Maria Mariani this week. She is in her 50s and has been way prepared for this to happen. Her life has been such a roller coaster of emotions. She was in prison for several years and was highly addicted to several drugs. She has completely changed her life around and now teaches at the prison to help inmates with addictions. She has such a great testimony already; it'll be great to see the testimony she'll have when we finish teaching her. The great thing about Maria is that she recognizes the events in her life and knows that it all happened for this moment. I love missionary work.

Oh way cool thing happened... Kinda worldly but still cool. If you remember back to December I made the comment that a missionary going to a ward party is a like a movie star walking the streets of Hollywood. I was way wrong. This is the comparison... A missionary in the 24th of July parade in Pocatello Idaho is like being a movie star walking the streets of Hollywood! Great times! We were asked to be on a float for the parade and I have never had so many people get excited to see me! Wow. Lots and lots of people shouting and cheering as we went by. Did I like it? Of course. It's me.

I forgot how wild people get around here for the 24th.

Well family, all is well. I am doing great! I love life and look forward to what the Lord has in store for this next transfer.

Peace and Love,
Elder Walker