Tuesday, October 5, 2010

10-4-10 General Conference Weekend

Well hello there everyone!

Hasn't life just been great? I've really enjoyed this past week as I do every other week I've had.

General Conference was wonderful wasn't it? I love that the focus of this conference seemed to be on the Plan of Salvation and Faith to follow Jesus Christ. I really soak up what our Prophets have to say while I'm serving a mission. I especially loved Priesthood session! I encourage you ladies out there to print out the talks from Priesthood session and study them. Funny thing is when we were at Priesthood session and Elder Nelson had all the missionaries around the world stand up I turned to Elder Rudd and said, "10 says my Dad is crying right now", was I right??? If Dad wasn't crying by that point then 10 says emotions were running during the closing song of "Called to Serve" by the missionary choir from the MTC in Provo. I must admit that I got really emotional listening to those Elders sing. I also got really emotional when President Eyring said something along the lines of "I am honored to be considered to have the same calling as these missionaries behind me." I couldn't hold it in when he said that, I mean here's a man who serves in the highest quorum of the Priesthood here on this earth and he puts himself down to the level of a missionary who doesn't even remotely have the same calling as he does. He's one of the 15 that holds the priesthood to the kingdom of God on this earth and yet he's still a missionary. How remarkable are our Priesthood leaders!

The only down side to this General Conference is that now we have to be back to full time suit jacket wearing. I would be fine with wearing suit jackets in a month but not now when it's still 80 degrees outside and I'm on a bike. Not my fav thing to do. Just a little perseverance and it'll be cool again.

For Conference Elder Rudd and I decided that we wanted to get the whole zone together to watch. I'm really glad we did because there is now this bond in the zone that we wouldn't be able to get elsewhere. I have a testimony of our Prophet. I know that President Monson is God's servant for us. I love being an authorized servant of God to be able to declare to all that God has opened the windows of heaven and called a man to safely lead us home. It's no wonder that God really does reveal his secret to President Monson who declares to the world to follow our Savior.
Speaking of President Monson... On Friday at our Zone Leader Council President Colton was giving us his testimony of President Monson and while quoting from the new book "To The Rescue" a biography of Thomas S. Monson, President Colton has now approved that book to be apart of the missionary library and has asked that all the missionaries in the IPM read the book and know our Prophet better. Just so you know Mom and Dad, you'll see a 30ish dollar charge to my account, that's from buying this book from Deseret Book today. I hope that was okay since I didn't approve it with you before hand. I'm so excited to read this book!

One of my favorite parts about being a Zone Leader is exchanges. This upcoming week we're going on exchanges with our visa missionaries that are waiting to go to Mexico. Tonight I get to go with Elder Ursua from Hawaii. He's way awesome! I'm looking forward to work with him in my area and show him how great our area is. Each time I stay in my area with missionaries from the Zone I pray really hard to have an opportunity to invite someone to be baptized. I hope that will happen tomorrow.

I love you all very much and hope all is well at home. I love my calling. I love my boss. I have the greatest calling in the church! I wish you all well.

September 20, 2010

Elder Walker and Elder Rudd with Idaho State Flag

Ice-blocking at a ward party... (Be Careful!!!)

September 13, 2010 - Twenty Years Old

HELLO everyone!
Well it is officially official. I'm old. Twenty! Holy smokes.

My birthday was a really great day! Nothing too exciting happened. We weekly planned and then taught people the gospel... pretty much the best thing to do on a birthday. The great highlights are the three meals I had. For breakfast the Spanish Elders came over and we made omelets, and for lunch Elder Rudd and I went to the Sizzler for steaks. The best part of the whole day was when we ate dinner with the Robinson family. They called a week ago and asked me what I wanted for my birthday dinner and I told them they can make what ever they want. They asked what my favorite food is so I told them Crab legs. The best part is Sister Robinson is from Maine and loves to cook sea food so she flew in several pounds of crab legs from Maine for my birthday dinner. How great is that?!?! I loved it so much! Tasty for sure.

I received the birthday package from home. Thanks for the things you sent. I love the ties and pants and the box of random birthday things. My favorite part of the package is the Spider-man night light! We use it every night and it goes great with my other Spider-man things all over the apartment.

When we got in from the day there was the coolest cake I have ever seen in our apartment. Benji Bosen brought a "missionary cake" for me. I can't even describe it so I'll attach a photo for you to see.

Thanks to everyone who sent birthday cards! I appreciate the thoughts and prayers. Thanks especially to Grandma and Grandpa for the birthday money. I was just about to scrounge for some cash because I needed to go to the dry cleaners for my suits before winter comes again.

I forgot to mention this last week to give you a heads up but I have an idea... Today I finished the Book of Mormon for the 3rd time on my mission. I'm planning on starting again to read for the 4th time on Wednesday. I want to invite all of the family to join in with me on reading the Book of Mormon again. What happens is we read only 5 pages a day which means we'll complete the book in a little over 3 months. My ultimate goal is to read the book 7 times on my mission which I will do by reading just 5 pages a day each day. I invite everyone to read with me starting on Wednesday, 15 September. The first day you'll have to read 6 pages (the introduction first then 5 pgs in 1 Nephi) and also the last day you'll have to read 6 pages.

I know this sacred book is true. I have a testimony of this volume of Holy Scripture. It is another testiment of Jesus Christ. Please take this challenge for yourself and feel of the Saviors love for you by his Prophets of old.

We had a pretty average week this week this week but the coolest part was that Elder Rudd and I taught 24 lessons!!! That's the most I've ever taught on my mission.
I hope all is well back home and everyone is doing great!

Happy Birthday Elder Walker

Spoiled Missionary! Crab legs flown in from Maine!

Birthday cake arranged for and delivered by Elder Bosen (Thanks Benji)

English beans... a fav!!!!
At Brandon's baptism
Elder Fernberg, Elder Rudd, Brandon and Elder Walker

9-6-10 Best Weekend Ever

Well hello there everyone!

Once again transfers have come again. The verdict... I'm staying with Elder Rudd in Pocatello! I'm so excited! I love this area so much! I was really worried because the Assistants told Elder Rudd and I that they were moving 50 missionaries! 50! That's over half the companionships in the mission! I'm way happy to be staying here. I would love to stay here the rest of my mission but that's probably not going to happen. We are getting an additional 2 companionships added to the zone which will be great. We're already leading the mission in baptisms so with 2 more additions we'll be leading every month, or so we hope.

Let me just say that this past weekend was by far the best weekend of the mission. I've seen several baptisms but there was nothing like Brandon Beer's baptism. What an amazing experience that was. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity I've had to know Brandon. He will be a close friend throughout the eternities.

There's nothing better than witnessing a baptism that an individual has had to work really hard be baptized. Don't get me wrong, all baptisms are great but there is just something a little more special about those that don't get everything so easy and have to entirely place their will in the hands of God; Brandon has had to do that for the past 7 years. I know the Lord answers prayers, He answers them on his own time but He does answer them. This ward has prayed and prayed and prayed for this day to finally happen but for some reason our Heavenly Father decided that September 4th 2010 was the day for his son to enter into the waters of baptism. How great and marvelous are the works of God.

Last night we received a message from a brother in the ward expressing to us how grateful he is that we prepared ourselves to be on a mission and to especially be here for Brandon. I don't know why the Lord chose Elder Rudd and myself to be the ones to baptize Brandon but he did. Those comments from Brother Porter was simply the icing on the cake. Right now is most definitely the highest of my mission.

This work is real. It IS the Lord's work and the greatest cause on this planet. There is no greater happiness than to be a servant of the Lord. I know that this is the Lord's kingdom and I wouldn't be anywhere else than working to build up this kingdom.

I love you all. Keep persevering. Align your will with the will of the Lord.

Two amazing and wonderful missionaries!!!
Elder Bosen and Elder Walker
Elder Bosen is from Pocatello, Idaho and served his mission in Castle Rock, Colorado.
Elder Walker is from Castle Rock, Colorado and is serving his mission in Pocatello, Idaho

Ten Months of Greatness August 30, 2010

Hello Family!
Can you even believe that I have been out 10 months now? I can't believe how fast time is going. I hear it only gets faster and faster.

There are a few things I forgot to mention last week. The first really cool thing is that I'm in the Ensign. Open up the September issue to pg. 37 and you'll see me there. It's kinda ironic because in the picture I'm teaching a Filipino family but I'm wearing a long sleeve shirt. haha! I just noticed that. I'm pretty sure no missionaries in the Philippines wear long sleeve shirts. Pretty cool to be in a magazine that goes to millions of people though huh?
Another cool thing that happened. Extreme Make-over came to Pocatello and rebuilt a house half a mile away from my area! That was way cool. It was great to see the whole community get involved to help out this family. The story is way sad too, it's a single mom with 9 kids who has cancer. Her house caught fire a few months ago and burned pretty much half of the house. We weren't allowed to help because the church doesn't like missionaries being on national television. Elder Rudd and I rode our bikes by it a few days ago and it's way nice. Check out the show on the 31st of Oct, that's when it shows I think.

Yesterday was such a great day. Definitely a huge highlight of my mission. I was able to speak with Elder Bosen at his speaking assignment yesterday. What a great experience! After the talks and sacrament meeting was over there was a sister that came up to me and told me, "there are no coincidences in this life, there is an eternal reason for you and Elder Bosen to have met." That's true. I'm really thankful for the opportunity that I've had to know Elder Bosen. He's such a great person. I first saw Elder Bosen on Saturday when we practiced the song we sang at church, that was super weird seeing him without a shirt and tie on! It was a great reunion though.

Cool thing happened this week. I got a short letter from a good friend of mine from DECA. She was my Secretary when I was President of Castle View's DECA chapter. She is out to school in Oklahoma. In her letter she simply said, "Tyson, I don't really know much about what you're doing on your mission or much about your religion is there a way I can learn more?" HELLO!!! talk about golden opportunity! I immediately called the Idaho Falls Temple Visitor's Center and sent off a referral for her. I requested missionaries to visit and take a Book of Mormon and a Restoration DVD. I really hope this goes well.

All is well here. I love what I'm doing. Hope all is well with you.
quote of the day... I heard this yesterday at church... "life is like shaving, no matter how good you do it today, you just have to do it again tomorrow."

I forgot something I wanted to tell you. We had zone leader council this last week. At these council meetings we report to President Colton our numbers. Our zone is by far the smallest zone in the mission but we were able to lead the mission in baptisms for August.

We were really excited to report 14 baptisms from the Pocatello Central Zone for the month of August. Our missionaries are really applying the simplified curriculum and as a consequence we've seen incredible results. I would have never guessed our zone would lead the mission in baptisms but I stand corrected. I don't say this to boast of myself but of these Elders and Sisters that are working so hard to be the best missionaries they can be in fulfilling our purpose.

How grateful I am to be involved in such a great work. The Lord is mindful of us and has indeed opened the windows of heaven on our zone.

August 22, 2010

Hello everyone!
Lots of items of greatness this week. I will present them in bullet format...
  • I talked with Elder Bosen yesterday on the phone. That was super weird! We talked for a little bit about his return from the Colorado Springs mission. He's doing great and wants to take Elder Rudd and I to lunch this week.
  • I witnessed the weirdest baptism ever on Saturday. This man that was baptized asked if he could play some music while he was changing. The music that was played was some southern baptist gospel music! Haha! I was laughing so hard!
  • I got the best package ever! A binder full of music! I love it! I have planned 3 hours today to play the piano. I'm stoked.
  • I got a letter from Torie Lee!!! That was so great! That was a long awaited letter.
  • We had another 2 day leadership conf. this week. We have now been taught all of the new simplified curriculum. President Colton read us a letter from Elder Holland and in that letter Elder Holland announces that there is going to be a new version of Preach my Gospel coming out soon. I hope it comes out before I leave.
That's pretty much all the new exciting things that have happened here. Everything is going great. Pocatello is awesome. I hope all is well with you.

Elder Mecham

Oh cool story!
There is an Elder Mecham here that I heard was from Colorado. I called him the other day to ask him where he is from. Of all places guess where he is from???? Monument.... Crazy!!!! We got talking and I told him I have a good friend from Monument and told him about Whitney Baker. He said, "no way you know Whitney, I dated her!!!" Crazy huh! He also knows Mykel who went to seminary with me from monument also.
As we got talking he said that the Baker family told him about me before he left and to tell me hello but he forgot my name so now I finally got the message. haha! Crazy crazy crazy...
Elder Mecham corrected me on my language and said it's "cool-orado". Just so you all know.

Photos August 16, 2010

Elders Rudd, Rust and Walker

Elder Walker at Elder Rudd's birthday dinner

Elder Walker's new bike!
Elder Walker in his apartment with his Spiderman towel that Devin and Lianne gave him for Christmas.

August 9, 2010 - Expect Miracles

Hello everyone,
Sorry the letter is super late today, this is Elder Rust's last p-day so we've finally decided to take a quick break and send a letter home.
So how is everyone doin? I ask because I don't know... hint hint (that means send more letters). I do have to say that I received a great letter from Hedy Lu and Karli this week. They are great friends.
It would be great to see a few letters in the mail box this week! haha.
So I couple of great miracles happened this weekend. I wish I could emphasize the greatness of these miracles but there is no way to understand completely unless you were here. The first miracle is that Brandon Beers finally got permission from his dad to get baptized! Brandon is the one that I told you about who knows more about Preach my Gospel and the scriptures than most new missionaries. He's 16 and has read the Book of Mormon 7 times! That's more than I've read it. This has been a battle for 7 years to get him baptized and now it is finally going to happen. Cool story about how he told me. We went to his ward's neighborhood party and Brandon was there. I asked him about how it went with talking to his Dad and he totally played it up that he hadn't talked with his dad yet after we committed him to it so many times. After letting it go for a while he said, "well I guess we'll have to move my baptism day to Sept. 4th." I said, "ok, is that to give you more time to ask your dad? He said, "no, because that's the day my dad said I could get baptized." Now mind you this whole time he's just playing it off all cool like it's no big deal. Then I jumped on him and started freaking out! Greatest day of my mission for sure! His fellowshipper, Bro. Porter came over to join the excitement but knew what was going on the whole time! They said they planned the whole thing out to mess with Walker. Oh boy am I excited!
The next miracle is that Clifford Bacon came to church!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I never thought I would see him inside a chapel for as long as I was here for sure! What happened is the ward asked me to do a musical number so I was pestering him for weeks to come hear it. I thought all hope was lost but when we got to the building he was there! He has set a date for the 11th of September to be baptized.
The Lord is blessing us with so much success. We have 7 people with a specific date to be baptized. Every new investigator seems to be accepting a baptism date which in and of itself is a miracle. I can't wait to see what is in store for this week.
I hope all is well in Colorado and where ever you are in the world who reads this. This work rocks. Remember to always pray for a desire to serve and you too will be called to so great a work. "Shall we not go on in such great a cause?"

Peace and Love,
Elder Walker