Wednesday, December 15, 2010


So interesting story I forgot to add to the weekly e-mail. Yesterday one of the wards found out that I play the piano and after Elder Durnall said, "he's a musical genius" they roped me in to playing for the ward choir for their Christmas program. Haha! This always happens to me. I'm also now the Priesthood pianist for opening exercises. Oh boy! I hope they don't expect too much from me because I never get time to practice nor am I anywhere close to a "musical genius". The best part is that they are performing next Sunday which means I have to learn a few pieces before then. They do have a pretty decent choir; it'll be an adventure.


Hello everyone,

Everything is going great here in Idaho Falls. Things are just getting ready to explode! Yesterday was a way good day for us; we set 2 baptism dates last night. The first, AJ is 18 and loves to learn about the Savior. He's read the Bible and is looking for more. He was way excited to accept the 29th of January as a day for him to be baptized. The problem though is that we got a call from his uncle last night who told us that AJ had to be sent to the hospital a few hours after we left because he had an internal rupture of the intestines and was heading into emergency surgery. Please keep AJ in your prayers. Elder Durnall and I are going to offer him a blessing today.

The second individual, Travis, accepted a date of the 22nd of January to be baptized. Travis is such a great guy with a wonderful family. His wife is a member and he has 4 kids. The lesson last night was one of the more powerful lessons I've ever had on the mission. We focused a lot on Temples and eternal families. We explained to him that baptism isn't what we want for him although it is a great step and a wonderful blessing, we want his family to be united eternally in the holy temple of our God and baptism is the first step to get there. There is much more to this story than I have time to tell but after my companion and I bore witness of the divinity of the priesthood sealing families for time and eternity he and his wife were in tears. Now keep in mind, this is not the first time Travis had been invited to be baptized in fact it wasn't even the second but what we found out through the Holy Ghost is that he needed to know that this is about his family and what our Heavenly Father's plan for them is, once he knew that, he accepted to follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized. I know that this missionary work is not done by me nor is any conversion accomplished by me but only by the power of God, the Holy Spirit. How great is this work!

I am doing great, busy as always. We were asked by President Colton to go on an exchange with every Elder in the Zone so we're booked twice a week conducting exchanges. I love learning and growing from the Elders I serve and witnessing their desire to serve the Master. The church is true. President Monson is a prophet of God. Jesus is our Savior and he loves us so much and very individually. "For behold, the field is white already to harvest..."

Peace and Love,
Elder Walker

Dec. 6th 2010 The Season of Christmas

It is official, the Christmas season has begun. I love this time of year when people seem to have a complete change in attitude and are willing to accept the promptings of the Spirit. I am starting to get myself into the Christmas spirit as I see Christmas lights up and music playing everywhere. "It's the best time of the year."

I have officially been transferred to Idaho Falls. This area is way different than Pocatello! I serve in the Taylor Mountain stake which is full of Doctors and other rich individuals. About half of my area is very comparable to that of Castle Pines and the other half to that of Sedalia. I'm still trying to learn the area and even figure out which way is North but so far I really like Idaho Falls.

Elder Durnall is awesome. He's from Sacramento Cali and as I said last week he and I came out together. He and I served in a different district in the MTC but we entered into missionary life on the same day. We seem to mesh really well so far. Our zone is way big! We have 5 stakes in the zone covering from Ammon to Shelly. It's way nice being super close to the Idaho Falls Temple to take investigators there and especially to have the Visitors' Center so close. I'm pretty excited to have a zone activity today so I can get to know the Elders and Sisters; we have 4 sisters and 16 Elders in the zone (6 of us all came out together). This is going to be a great transfer.

When we talked with the assistants today to give them our zone's weekly numbers they asked me if there is anything they could do for me, I told them to go to Alameda, get my brain, put it in a medium flat rate box and then mail it to me. This is how transfers are, you don't get your head back for a while. It's hard not only learning my area but learning the whole zone and missionaries and individuals that have a baptism date; I'm doing my best though.

I will have some stories for you all next week when I can actually remember people's names that I'm teaching! haha! No worries though I think I'll be back on my feet by next Monday.

I hope all is well and everyone is safe. Idaho is doing great!

Peace and Love,
Elder Walker

I get bored when everyone plays sports so last p-day I took some pictures... random.

Nov. 29th Thanksgiving

Hello everyone!

I hope everyone had a very happy Thanksgiving.

This week went so so so fast! We had a lot of great things happen to us. As I said in the last e-mail we received another group of visa waiting missionaries to the mission, two of which were assigned to our zone. As a part of my responsibility as a zone leader we have to go on exchanges with the new missionaries ASAP so Elder Rudd and I had to do 2 last minute exchanges, plus Thanksgiving. I love exchanges, especially with new missionaries because of the many great things I can re-learn that I once new. Simplicity is the best quality about new missionaries. I heard this quote the other day from Divinchi that says, "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Truly the Lord works many mighty miracles through the faith of new missionaries.

Those of you that went to the Priesthood session of Oct. 2010 general conference remember when Elder Russel M. Nelson said that he had 49 grandchildren that have served or are now serving a mission. Interesting for you to know that his 49th grandchild to serve a mission is currently serving in the Pocatello Central Zone in the Idaho Pocatello Mission, which happens to be the zone that Elder Rudd and I currently lead. Weird huh? It's interesting to be an authoritative figure over an Apostle's grandson. I told him today at e-mails, "make sure you tell your grandfather hello from your favorite zone leader."

Thanksgiving day was great! We were able to have an all day p-day from 10 to 9. Elder Rudd and I organized a tri-zone football game that morning. I didn't play because I'm not one for sports but the missionaries that did play are dedicated; it was 8 degrees and there was at least 6 inches of snow on the ground. Crazy Elders. We were then picked up at 12:30 to have lunch with the Lammers. I loved spending time with that family! We ate quickly so we could have more time to play games; we played a game called "the game of things" for 3 hours! It is so much fun. We definitely need to get that game for when I get home. After spending time with the Lammers we went to the Hulet's house for dessert (tons and tons of pumpkin pie; no complaints). When we were finished eating like kings we gathered our zone together for the evening at the institute to play a huge game of Apples to Apples. Let me just tell you that 20 missionaries chillin playing Apples to Apples is a huge highlight to any Thanksgiving day.

I learned something great on Thanksgiving. In D&C 78:19 we learn what the Lord thinks of gratitude. After you read this verse think about what President Monson has recently told us about gratitude. As we apply an "attitude of gratitude" the Lord says he'll bless us "100 fold". Now just think about this a second, not 100 times, 100 fold. Fold a paper once and you get 2, fold it again and you get 4, again and you get 8, etc. Now think about 100 fold! That is a lot. Be grateful for what you have, we've truly been blessed with so much!

The time has arrived for Elder Rudd and I to be separated. We got transfer info on Saturday and it looks like the Lord needs me up in Idaho Falls. I've been assigned to work with Elder Durnall (we came out together) in the Idaho Falls West Zone. I'm pretty excited for several reasons, one, I get to go back to a car, two, Elder Durnall is sweet, and three, I've wanted to serve in Idaho Falls for a while now. Don't get me wrong I am extremely sad to leave Alameda and Pocatello. I have really enjoyed my time here and the miracles I've witnessed, like Brandon Beers getting baptized. I will forever love these people and will miss Elder Rudd a lot; he has been my favorite companion by far. It's alright though because we've already made plans to kick it on the beach in Jacksonville. Interesting for you to know, Elder Call (my trainer) is replacing me here in Alameda and I'm replacing him in Idaho Falls. When I get to Idaho Falls on Wednesday I'll be serving in the Taylor Mountain Stake.

All is well in Zion. I love this mission and I know I will love my future adventures with Elder Durnall. The Lord has a lot to teach us, just open your eyes to the miracles and we will learn.

Peace and Love,
Elder Walker

11/22/10 What I have learned...

Wow... Great week.

My journey up to Idaho falls was awesome!!! I loved the conference we had and learned so much. We focused on the Fundamentals of Preach my Gospel. President Colton did the majority of the training and we were taught all 8 of the lessons. President Colton started the training with telling us why we have these new fundamentals of PMG, he said, "The Lord is showing us the way we always should have used Preach my Gospel."

We focused a lot during this conference on Revelation and how we, members, and the investigators have to receive revelation for conversion to take place. There was this quote given from Elder McConkie that says, "revelation is the making known of divine truth by communication from heaven." Who doesn't want that? Direct revelation from heaven is what we're searching for here and we get it from several ways: scripture, church leaders, feelings, and many more. Our focus as missionaries is to connect an individual that is searching for heaven with heaven and we do it by the power of the Holy Ghost.

The three specific ways that an individual can and will receive revelation if they have a sincere heart, real intent, and faith in Christ, is from the Book of Mormon, attending church, and prayer. These are the ways we focused our efforts on for this conference. In the mission we've been struggling to get investigators to attend church and receive conversion but this past weekend we had more investigators out to church than we've had in a long time. It's interesting to see the Lord's hand in play as we apply His way of doing missionary work. We were told at the conference a quote from President Faust, he said, "this is the Lord's work, let Him do a little of it." It's true, how many times do we try to do our callings on our own or think that our way is the best way? This really is the Lord's work and we are privileged to help.

I learned so much from President Colton this past week and now I'm excited to have a full week to apply what I was taught both by him and by the Spirit. I only have room to grow and that's what I am going to do. After all that is why we are here on earth right?

All is well here in Poky. It's been snowing like crazy off and on for the past few days and is supposed to continue until tomorrow. I love the snow! The only bad part is that I can't play in it.

We have transfers next week (Dec 1st) so if you will please send letters to the mission office first until I find out if I'm going or staying. I really hope that I stay here for Christmas but we'll see. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get transferred up to Rexburg but of course that's all speculation. I will have official transfer info for you next p-day.

Love you all very much and hope you are finding happiness in this journey we call life.

Peace and Love,
Elder Walker

11/15/10 Celestial Stew

Hello everyone,

So tomorrow I head off to Idaho Falls for a 4 day leadership conference. I am looking forward to this conference a lot. This will be the first time we hold this conference outside of Pocatello which means I'll be staying with another companionship for the week. It'll be interesting to see what we're going to be taught at this conference. Our high counselor over missionary work in the Alameda stake is taking Elder Rudd and I out to lunch on Saturday so we can teach him what President Colton teaches us. That goes to show how great the leaders over missionary work are here in the Alameda stake.

We got word last night that another group of visa waiting missionaries have received acceptance into Mexico. This mean we'll be loosing a couple Elders from our zone which is way sad because I've really grown close to these two Elders. The good news though is that we've received a new group of visa waiters today that are trying to get into Brazil. Two of those Elders will be placed in our zone to replace the ones that have left. This whole visa issue is crazy! I wish the world would just get along and not be so complicated. We love having the visa missionaries in our mission though they really have brought a lot to the table.

We have an investigator named Kevin who came to church for the first time yesterday! We were so excited! Kevin has had a baptismal date for a while now and was being so stubborn on attending church. Kevin is an extremely hard-headed man but it's been great to see the Spirit work on him to soften his heart and help him be humble. He has changed so much since we've been teaching him. I do not take any credit for what he has done because I have done nothing, I've only been a mouth piece for the Lord. Kevin is preparing to be baptized on Dec. 15th, his 30th birthday.

On Saturday we had a great time at our lesson with Kevin on Saturday. He told us that he was willing to try anything to quit smoking. That sentence is almost as great as someone saying they want to be baptized. Elder Rudd and I heard of this method called "Celestial Stew" that has helped other investigators quit smoking. What it is is a glass of milk with a pack of cigarettes broke open and dumped in and salt and pepper. What you do is heat it up and stir it up then get the addicted person to drink this "stew" and of course they'll throw up. The next time they go to smoke a cigarette they remember this nasty drink and it makes them queasy so they loose their desire to smoke. Kevin did a great job. He didn't give up and finished the whole thing but probably threw up about 30 times; it was nasty. The good news is that when we saw him at church yesterday he said he hadn't smoked yet! Oh the fun missionaries can have.

Everything is going great here in Pocatello. The work is progressing well and exciting things are happening. This work is great! I'm excited to e-mail next week to share with you what I've learned and how I will change from the conference this week. I love you all!

Peace and Love,
Elder Walker


Well hello there everyone!

Once again, and to no surprise, this was a great week!

Elder Nelson took off Wednesday morning back to his territory of Sacramento California. He is currently hugging and kissing girls... weird. He still has his temple date of Nov. 27th to be married to Rachael. He was really excited to get back to her and his family. The last day with Elder Nelson was a great experience. He worked really hard and testified like I have never seen. Tuesday evening was filled with many tears and great emotions as he said his final good-byes and the assistants picked him up. This really is the best experience and he realized that it does end.

Thursday was zone conference. We now get zone conference every third month so when we get it we are very excited. For this zone conference President asked Elder Rudd and I to give a training for the three zones; we trained on qualifying for the companionship of the Holy Ghost. I loved this opportunity to prepare myself for this training. I had no idea what to study or where to go but under the direction of the spirit I turned my scriptures to the missionary work of the sons of Mosiah. I thought that if anywhere in the scriptures would teach me about this topic it would be the sons of Mosiah. It's interesting because I found my answer in the first three verses. In Alma 17 we read about Alma reuniting with the sons of Mosiah and what he learned about them, he says, "...they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently...they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting" then the Lord gives us a very specific blessing for doing these things, it says, "they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation" or in other words they had the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

We began our training with everyone thinking about their greatest hero in the scriptures. We selected 5 missionaries to stand and tell us who their hero was, what their hero did, and why this individual was their hero; we also asked President and Sister Colton to do the same thing. We heard of such heroes as, Abinidi, Alma, Jonah, Ester, and Peter. After these great heroes were discussed we explained that in every case these heroes were considered heroes because they qualified to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost, we too will be considered "heroes" in the eyes of our investigators as we strive to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

I feel that this training was a success. We had great involvement from the missionaries and I feel that our zone at least is applying the things that they learned.

We had a great experience with an investigator this week. We watched the Restoration DVD after she told us she hadn't received an answer to her prayers. At the end of the DVD we asked her how she felt and she explained that she felt the same feelings as when she was done praying such as peace, relaxation, etc. We explained that this is how the Spirit feels and she then explained that she now knows that this is true. I love teaching with the Spirit! He is the only way to conversion and when investigators understand that they progress so much faster. Tiffany has a baptism date for Dec. 4th.

All is well. I love what I'm doing and I love the Gospel. This is the great cause of the Lord. He loves us.

Peace and Love,
Elder Walker

10/25/10 Great Week

Hello Everyone!

This week has been super crazy!!! Transfer week is always super crazy. As I said last week President Colton did transfers a little bit different this last time with sending all the info out over the phone on voicemail. On Tuesday however, 8 of our visa waiting missionaries received their visas and took off on Wednesday to Mexico so that made even more transfers. President sent out a voice message to all the zone leaders telling us more transfer info. Before this second message our zone was pretty much untouched with effected companionships but he decided to "drop a nuclear bomb on the Poky Central Zone" as the assistants called it. We had every companionship change in the zone including ours. We got put in a threesome for a few weeks with Elder Nelson. Elder Nelson is a great guy! He goes home in a few weeks to Sacramento and then is getting married three weeks after that. It's kinda weird to be honest, I mean he has a fiancee as a missionary and has their wedding announcements all over the house. He has her pictures all over his desk and his walls and receives at least 2 letters from her a day. He's happy though and that's the important part.

We had an amazing week! We had the great opportunity to set 3 baptism dates this week! Two of the three was in our first visit right after giving the account of the first vision. What a powerful account. The Lord taught Elder Rudd and I patience this last transfer because we were working really hard teaching over 20 lessons a week for 7 weeks but with nothing to show from it, well at least I thought there was nothing to show from it but the Lord quickly proved me wrong. Not only were we able to teach over 20 lessons for 7 weeks with the help of the Lord but he showed me that by working as hard as I could for a short time he would prepare his children for us to teach them. I think we sometimes have to prove that we wont give up on our Savior and when we do that then He'll open the windows of heaven and we'll witness miracles; that is the idea of enduring to the end right? I think so. Great lesson learned this week. I love learning so many great truths and lessons while being the Lord's missionary.

Yesterday there was an Elder that returned home from his mission in Little Rock, Arkansas. His family volunteered me to do a musical number so I turned right around and said, "well if you volunteer me then I volunteer you to sing with me." They accepted as well as I and we had a great musical number singing "Army of Helaman". I want to give you the words to 2 verses that we changed when Elder Rudd, Elder Nelson, and myself sang:

"We have been called by Father above,
to serve His children and labor with love.
We will go out His word we'll obey,
to bring Him souls the Savior's way.

We know the truth and so we declare,
to read and ponder and kneel in prayer.
We will proclaim in these latter days,
to be obedient and keep His ways."

I got emotional singing these verses because they mean so much to me about what I'm doing here in Pocatello. I will go forth and I will declare His gospel "in His way, by His power." How grateful I am to have this opportunity in my life to serve my brothers and sisters and declare the most important message this world has ever heard. God loves us. Jesus is the Christ. I bear you my witness of them as His authorized representative.

All is well here. I love what I'm doing. I love Idaho. Thanks for the prayers and thoughts I appreciate them so very much.

Peace and Love,
Elder Walker

October 18th Transfers

Hello my family and friends,

So transfer info came this weekend... Guess what's happening? I get to stay here!!! I'm very very excited! I will be here for Thanksgiving for sure and I'm hoping for Christmas. This transfer is crazy! President transferred over 70 missionaries and Elder Rudd and I got untouched. This area is so great and I'm very glad to be staying. Elder Rudd and I get along really great which is a huge bonus to a great area. Cool thought: with 3 transfers with Elder Rudd as my zone leader in St. Anthony and now three transfers together, we'll serve together for 9 months. How great!

My thoughts are that next transfer will be pretty mellow because President isn't going to move too many people right before Christmas. I hope this will be a 7 1/2 month are for me. I love it here!

This week was pretty eventful. Elder Rudd was sick for 5 days! I don't have the patience to sit inside all day so we arranged exchanges with the zone to take turns to be with him so I could work in my area. Haha. I worked with my companion for only 2 days this week in our area. Weird.

Nothing too exciting happened this week. We taught 20 lessons again this week. This makes week 6 of teaching over 20 lessons a week! I'm very excited about that.

This area is great. This work is great.

Peace and Love,
Elder Walker

Oct. 11th Crazy Week

Hello everyone,

Another p-day has arrived. Can you believe how fast time is flying by? Just a couple more weeks and I'll hit my year mark! Holy smokes!

This week has been quite an eventful week. A lot of great stories have happened. Where to start... Fist off I got an AMAZING package from Grandma and Grandpa! They sent me zucchini bread, a cake, and best of all they sent me a bunch of pear tomatoes!!!! Yum yum! My favorite! Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!

Great story number one: There is a man here who was taught by missionaries for the past 4 years at least. The reason he hasn't been baptized is because he can't kick his smoking habit. Elder Rudd and I have been trying everything we know how to help him quit. He's enrolled in the church's 12-step program, he's meeting with a cancer specialist at the hospital to help him quit, he's taking medication, he's reading the whole Book of Mormon, etc. We've done everything we know how but this week we came up with a great idea! We cleaned his house for him. This might sound like a great idea but let me tell you, never in my whole life have I been in a house as gross as this one! There was dust that has built up for 25 years! With 4 missionaries it took us 3 hours to clean that place. Elder Rudd and I hid his ash trays too. Haha! The agreement was that he would get rid of his ash trays if we cleaned his house so we hid them so he couldn't go back on his promise. We'll see how that goes.

Last night we were walking to an appointment when we heard someone yell out "missionaries, missionaries! I need to talk to you missionaries!" When we turned around there was a drunk man walking a block behind us that wanted to talk to us. His name is Kurt. We stood there and talked with Kurt for 40 mins! He had to tell us all about his problems and what he's done in his life. He kept telling us that he's a great person and not to judge him. We tried to give him advise be he would just talk and talk and talk. Finally he asked us if we would pray with him and of course we agreed. When we folded our arms he wouldn't have any of that. He put his right had out and asked us to do the same (kind of like a huddle before a football game or something) then asked Elder Rudd to say the prayer. Now keep in mind this is on a sidewalk of a busy street. I asked Kurt if we could just fold our arms be he said, "are you afraid of what people will think about you?" I didn't want to cause any problems so we prayed his way. He then had to tell us more about his life and then I think he forgot that we prayed because he asked us to do the same thing 4 more times. Haha! Awkward! I don't think he'll remember that today, he was plastered. Good times!

A spiritual story of the week is when we set a baptism date with Kevin! I must say that was a great experience we had. Last week when we met with him we told him that he has now hit the end of the road and he has to decide to go right or left. We explained that the Gospel is either true or it's completely false and he is the only one who can make that decision. We invited him to pray about it and decide, then we set a return appt. for a few days later. When we went back he told us he prayed and decided that it was true and his life will be blessed by being baptized. We set the date for December 15th because it's his birthday and he wants to start his life over on that day. I'm very excited to be a part of his journey.

Well next week I'll know transfer information. I hope I stay her again because next transfer is Thanksgiving. I would hate to go to a new area and have to build relationships again before the Holidays. I guess we'll find out next Sunday.

I hope everyone is doing well and you are all happy. Life is great! Let's enjoy each day and witness the miracles that surround us.

Peace and love,
Elder Walker