Friday, November 4, 2011

Lindon's Baptism

07/25/2011 Feed My Sheep

Hello Everyone,

I hope you all received or heard about the package I sent home for all of you.

Sounds like this week is going to be one crazy week for all of you with family and weddings. Don't worry about me, I'll probably be teaching someone or knocking on doors. haha! Life is good.

Saturday I had the great opportunity to attend a baptism in Idaho Falls for Linden Schlenker. If you remember or if I even told you he is the one who requested us to come see him and bring him the DVD Finding Faith in Christ. When we went to deliver it he said, "I was wondering when you were going to come." Needless to say he is super golden and teaching him was a breeze. The WML for that ward said it best when we said that we were just hanging on for the ride. Brother Schlenker works for the BLM (burrow of land management) so he asked us if he could be baptized outside. I had never been asked that question before so we called President and he said, "well it's hard to tell someone no when Christ was baptized in a river." We worked close with the bishop and planned is baptism in the Snake River in Idaho Falls. That's a baptism to remember.

Brother Schlenker asked me and Elder Owens to be witnesses and when I stood on bank of the river I tell you I have not had deja vu like I had at that moment watching him be baptized in the river. That moment took me back for a second. I thought about this that night and came to the conclusion that I saw what I saw before coming to this earth as Heavenly Father commissioned me to find Linden and bring him into the fold. I could be wrong but I know I saw him being baptized in that place at that time before.

Elder Markert and I are planning our first baptism together for this Saturday. Rick is ready to rock and roll. We met with him last night and put together his program, his baptism was announced in the singles branch, and he passed his baptism interview. The best part is when we first met Rick he claimed to be Atheist which was just 3 1/2 weeks ago, however when we reviewed the baptism interview questions with him he has learned who his Heavenly Father is and knows that Jesus Christ lives. The first question to the interview is, "Do you believe that God is our Eternal Father? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world?" When we asked this question Rick looked at us for a second then said, "Yes, I really do." Oh boy! You betcha I was so excited to hear that! How cool is it that he was lead to Menan Idaho of all places from Seattle and in just 3 1/2 weeks time he is now a Christian soon to be LDS. The Spirit is incredible!!! My calling is incredible!!! These are the moments that make everything worth it, all the time spent, the studying, the obedience, the patience, the stress...everything. There is no greater cause in all the world and I get to be apart of it.

I learned something so great this week from Elder Holland. We know Peter to be the great Apostle of Jesus Christ. He was by the Saviors side in everything. When Christ was crucified the Apostles looked to Peter as their leader and asked, "now what?" Peter didn't know what to do or how to do what he was supposed to do so he did the only thing he knew how to do, he went fishing. We know the story continues and the Apostles had a terrible day of fishing, they hadn't caught anything. To their surprise there was a man on the beach sitting by a fire who told the Apostles to try fishing on the other side of the ship. Elder Holland continues to state that they probably were looking to this unknown man on the beach as an unlearned man who didn't know anything about fishing yet they had nothing to loose so they cast their nets on the other side of the boat. The nets are full, in fact too full to pull up the fish and the boat starts sinking. Peter then recognized that this man is Jesus Christ and tells his buddies who He is. The interesting part is though that Peter doesn't wait to go to shore but he bails over the boat and swims. He finds the resurrected Lord sitting on the beach cooking them breakfast. Just a side note of how merciful the Lord is, he knew his friends would be hungry and worn out from a day of fishing so he cooks them breakfast. It's at this point that we know the great conversation between Jesus and Peter. The Savior asks Peter, "do you love me?" to which Peter responds, "of course Thou knowest I love Thee" the Savior then responds so perfectly, "feed my sheep". Peter is asked this question again, and then the third time we know he is asked the same question. I can imagine that Peter is sad that the Lord is asking him this question a third time but it's the third time that Peter then understands what he is to do. The Lord responds to his answer by telling Peter that He's told him before, leave your nets (Elder Holland refers to these nets as anything from our past) and feed my sheep! "Go and do what I have commanded you to do, there is no going back, there is no turning around, you are in this now and you have to fulfill your purpose." We learn that it is this point that Peter becomes the great Apostle that he was. People would push through crowds to get to even be in his shadow.

Now, Elder Holland teaches, we, you and I, are in this. There is no going back, there is no turning around. Do we love God? Feed His sheep. We are told and given the same commission as the great Apostle Peter is/was given to invite others to come unto Christ. We have been blessed with a testimony and now it is our turn to share it with others. I hope that we all can fulfill what we are sent to accomplish. This is what I felt as I saw Linden be baptized and that feeling will always be with me. Remember that we are never alone in the Lord's work.

I love you all. Have a great week and enjoy the wedding on Saturday.

--
Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

07/18/2011 Cute Note from Elder Walker

By the way... Last week I received Chelsee's wedding announcement, Elder Rudd's wedding announcement, and Kate Adamson wrote me to tell me that she's engaged and getting married on the 6th of Aug! I think everyone is taking last conference too seriously with President Monson telling the men to get married! haha!

07/18/2011 Pioneers

Hello Everyone,

This week was great as always. This morning I finished the Book of Mormon for the 6th time on my mission! I can't believe how much I learn from it each time I read. This time I took a different approach when I read by highlighting each reference to the God-head, each doctrine or principle, each characteristic of the Savior, and every time the Savior speaks. Each highlight of course is a different color.

My e-mail this week is going to be rather short because I'm going to be sending home a letter with a gift for the family.

With the 24th of July coming quickly I've been in this mood to learn of the pioneers. As a trainer the missionary department gave me a DVD player for the apartment so I can show Preach my Gospel DVDs to Elder Markert and introduce him to other church produced DVDs. This week I was so involved in watching the movie "Mountain of the Lord" which is about the building of the Salt Lake Temple. I also was intrigued by the "Church History" DVDs that are used in seminary and institute classes. I learned so much about the pains and sorrows the pioneers had to go through for us to have a better environment to learn the gospel. I didn't realize the love that these pioneers had for us that they would sacrifice everything just so they/we could further our testimonies of the Savior.

When the pioneers made it to the Salt Lake Valley after much loss and devastation the Prophet immediately began thinking of plans for a temple to be built. I can't imagine having to think about building a temple after I just walked so many miles and not even having my own house built. The great news is that they wanted the blessings of the temple so bad that they gave everything they could to build a temple for to their God. This makes my challenges seem simple and insignificant especially when I'm asked to walk by faith over something far less significant than building a temple when for all they knew they'd have to leave it again.

These are my thoughts for the week. I look forward to you receiving the package I send with my testimony. Have a good week!

--
Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

07/11/2011 Photos

Headstones of family ancestors...


"My Two Sons"... Elders that Elder Walker trained

07/11/2011 Menan Week 2

Hello everyone,
Yup, Menan is still way awesome. I've really enjoyed my time here and I love each day as we meet new people and find those that are ready for the gospel. This past week has been super busy and has been very productive. We've had the opportunity to set 3 baptismal dates this week! It feels like I'm right back at home in St. Anthony.

Last Monday was super fun. We started by attending the fair in Menan. The little town of 700 was crazy! There must have been 3,000 people that came in town for this day! I was completely blown away at how many people there were especially because I didn't know that Menan could fit that many people on the streets. After the fair we went in to Rexburg to hang out with some other missionaries and go to the rodeo. I forgot how funny the members are in Rexburg; at the rodeo the announcer had recognized all the missionaries there in at the rodeo. haha! The crowd was cheering for us as we stood and waved to everyone. Good ol' Rexburg. I guarantee that wouldn't happen anywhere else in the world.

The week continued on really well. Elder Markert is getting more comfortable every day. I found that if I really prepare him before the lesson by going through each point and discussing the parts that he would teach, then our lessons turned out much more successful and he would be much more confident in himself. I also found that putting him on the spot proved to be successful too because he's learned that he can open his mouth and have it filled with the words to speak. For example, we were asked to give a blessing to a lady we're teaching so she could receive strength to live the word of wisdom. When she asked us I told her that we would love to and that Elder Markert would be the voice in the blessing. This was his first blessing to give and let me tell you, I thought I may have given him his first heart attack! I coached him through what to say and what steps to take and then told him just to speak the words that came to his heart. The blessing was so powerful and exactly what this sister needed to hear. When the blessing was done, she stood, shook his hand and told him that he was inspired by the words he had said. I love new missionaries!

Yesterday we had the wonderful experience of having a missionary fireside for one of the wards we cover. The event was a success. We shared spiritual experiences from our mission and how we came to know the church was true. I was pondering on what I would share to these members and I felt impressed to share an experience I had when I was in the sacred grove prior to my mission. I explained how I took a few minutes to myself in the grove and how the Spirit taught me what I already knew. I then had the great opportunity to share the first vision and testify of this event that changed the world. I love sharing these experiences with people especially because I feel the Holy Ghost testify of the words that I speak. There is no better feeling except to feel a God testify of your words.

After we shared these experience we had a fun activity to help the youth feel more confident in sharing the gospel. We bring two of them up and give on a snickers bar and ask him or her to "sell" that snicker bar to his friend. We learn that it is extremely easy to give a friend a snickers bar and you both can enjoy sharing of this candy. We then pulled out a copy of the Book of Mormon and explained that this book is far more important than a mear snickers bar and that the happiness we receive from living these guidelines is eternal and in fact this book contains the message of salvation. I think that put in perspective for the youth how easy it is to give a candy bar but the significance is nothing but how easy it can be to give a book of mormon when we understand the significance is eternal.

I received a letter from Grandma telling me all about our family relations to Grant. She had told me that a lot of the Dabells were buried in the cemetery there. The next time we were in the area I stopped by the cemetery and found the headstone to Alfred and Julia Dabell. That's pretty cool huh?

Everything is looking up. The area is great! My comp is great! Life is good, so good.

--
Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

07/04/2011 Menan, Idaho

Hello Everyone!

Happy Independence day!

Where do I begin? Well I'm in Menan now...

This place is GREAT! Very very similar to St. Anthony in the fact that everyone is laid back and doesn't have a care in the world. It really has been a weird adjustment from being in Poky and IF for the past year. I've forgotten what it was like to be around people who have such simple lives. We cover the whole stake which includes 9 units. We have the cities of Menan and Lewisville and the areas of Grant and Annis. This area is the biggest I've served in including the most open space. For the past 5 days I've been so lost! I just learned North and South ;)

My companion is Elder Markert from Pennsylvania near the NY border. He's even in the Palmyra temple district. When we first got together he was really nervous as most new missionaries are but even after a couple days he was still being really shy. I'll admit that I was nervous to have a shy comp especially because he didn't speak much. The great part is that now he's comfortable with talking to anyone.

We had a way cool experience our first day together. We received a phone call from a man by the name of Randy who said that we didn't show up to our appointment the day prior. I called him right back and explained that we were both new to the area and that we would be more than happy to come see him. He told us to come in a couple days but that we should see Jason from the church. Now we didn't have any idea who Jason was since we'd only been in the area for 2 hours. After a few questions we were able to find out that Jason was the elders quorum president. We went to see president Fullmer to find out the situation about this family. Let me tell you, brother Fullmer was so happy to see new missionaries! He wanted to go see them right then so we loaded up in his truck and went on a visit to Randy. When we got there we found out that this family has just recently moved here from Washington and were meeting with the missionaries there. Randy moved here with his son Rick (19) and his girlfriend Georganne. The first thing they asked us was, "so can we have the first lesson now?" Randy is already converted to the gospel and is currently studying Jesus the Christ, Georganne is re-activating, and Rick said he isn't opposed to learn more. What we didn't know is that Randy set this whole thing up for Rick because Randy knows it's true. After teaching about the Book of Mormon and the Atonement I wrote on a sticky note to Elder Markert, "I want you to invite Rick to be baptized." He looked at me with wide eyes and I simply looked back to Rick in silence. Elder Markert invited him and he accepted!! It was way cool! There is nothing better than having a new missionary set a baptism date his first day in the field. The best part was that we didn't even know these people but we were able to follow the Spirit to see the EQP who helped connect us to this family.

You're probably wondering about Randy... well he will be baptized when he can figure out how to live the Law of Chastity. When this happens he will be baptized in a heartbeat.

Things are looking up. It's weird not being a zone leader anymore, really weird but I told Elder Markert that I don't believe in Jr./Senior companionships but that we're both equal. I've been used to having an equal companion for the past 12 months and that I look to him as the same. Since that conversation he's been taking the lead on most every aspect of missionary work. He's going to do great.

Tonight we're going to Rexburg to a rodeo with our zone and we get to be out until 11 PM. We're going to stay the night with some Elders up in Rexburg and then come back to Menan tomorrow. I'm excited for the fireworks tonight!

I hope you all have a great week. Remember to always share your testimony!

--
Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

06/27/2011 Emergency Trip to Challis





Some pictures. You'll be surprised to see me in Challis... long story.
President called and said, "Elder Walker and Elder Owens, are you ready to take a trip for me?" We spent all day Friday driving up to Challis to do an emergency transfer. Long day, long drive. It was pretty though.

06/27/2011 Going To Menan

Hello Everyone,

Well the transfer news is in and Dad has somehow already found out what's going on! Haha. Got to love the members in Idaho. Well if you don't know by now I am going to Menan Idaho to train a new missionary. I will be released from my assignment as a Zone Leader to focus all of my attention on Menan and this new Elder I'll be picking up on Wednesday. Because we're both going in to this new area together we call this a "white wash" where there is no missionary in the area that knows where things are or who anyone is - we get to start fresh.

I want to share with you what President Colton told me about my new assignment as a trainer but I hope you don't think I'm boasting, just sharing a compliment that was given to me. I called President right after we received transfer info to ask him a question regarding another issue, while talking with him he asked me if I was excited to serve in Menan. I responded by telling him that I was very excited to train a new missionary but that I wasn't sure about Menan because I don't know anything about that place. President told me the reason he is putting me there is for a couple reasons:

1. He said it is very similar to St. Anthony in the way missionary work is done and working with the members so I'll know how to get things done.
2. He told me that for a while now the missionaries in the area have killed the relationships with the members and have destroyed the work. He told me that he's sending me there for the purpose to turn it around and re-build the relationships with the members. How great is that! I've always wanted to white wash train in a dead area! This is going to be a great opportunity to work hard and build from the ground up rather than continuing to build from what was left. Nothing has made me happier than to hear President say that he's putting me there to turn things around because that means he trusts me and knows what I can and will do.

It's crazy to think that my new missionary is having his last day in the MTC right now and probably way excited to get to work. New missionaries are the best because they have so much faith and desire that miracles happen. Tonight I'm going with some other Zone Leaders, who are getting released to train as well, to Pocatello for the "train the trainers" meeting and dinner with President and Sister Colton.

I'm pretty sure I'll conclude my mission in Menan which is just the way I wanted it to be with 4 areas. Exciting things are about to happen. I can't wait until next Monday to tell you all about my new adventure. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to remember how to be a regular missionary though ;)

Yesterday was stake conference (President Polson's granddaughter spoke about the recent trek they went on) and I learned an interesting principle. Tomorrow I hit my 20 month mark of being a full-time missionary and at each month mark I take a few moments to ponder and then write in my journal the lessons I've learned from the past months of service. 20 months is a big mark because now is when the end seems too close and time is too quick. As I was pondering on the past 20 months of my life I heard this quote from conference, "becoming a better person is a process, not an event." The speaker continued to explain that the process takes time, focus, and a diligent effort. I truly believe that my mission and especially my experience as a Zone Leader has caused me to become a better person. It's interesting to look back on the experiences we have and see how time, focus, and a diligent effort played a part in God molding, shaping, and building us. I am the person I want to be and am continually becoming who I want to be in the future. I have found reading past journal entries to be a great way to see the development I've experienced. I was reading a page from when I was in Pocatello serving with Elder Rudd and I saw this, "I am so happy. Why am I so happy? It's because of the gospel of Jesus Christ."

I'm super excited for the next adventure in my life. I'm going to miss Idaho Falls and Elder Owens but I know there are great lessons to learn in the next 4 months of my life.

--
Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

06/20/2011 Letter from Son to Father

Hey Dad,
There is this lady in my area by the name of Mabel Ebner who is one of the best people I have ever met. She has a load of health issues and hasn't been able to make it to church for several years. Bishop Luke has asked us to stop by her house each week to give her some company and share with her the Spirit. Sister Ebner not only has a heart of gold but she also has a super powerful testimony and relationship with our Heavenly Father. I really look forward to our visits with her because she has strengthened my testimony a bunch. My point of telling you this is at our visit yesterday she told us that she wanted both Elder Owens and I to tell her about our fathers since it was father's day. I wanted to share with you a few thoughts I had while telling Sister Ebner about my father.

When talking about you, dad I think of Doctrine and Covenants 121 but specifically verses 41-43:

41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile

43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
The reason I think of this section and specifically these verses is because you are an example to me of what the Lord is expecting of us as Priesthood holders. You are what the Lord has asked us to be. Thank you for being the example so many of us need in our lives. You are a fantastic man who teaches so many by your example and especially by the spirit you carry as you labor to lift up others. My whole life you have been in service in the kingdom that has required a lot of your time, talents, and attention but I never appreciated what you have done until I came on my mission. You are a valiant servant who has blessed so many lives, especially mine. Even though these callings you've had have called you away from your family in the aid of others I've learned the most from your example in helping, loving, understanding, and supporting our brothers and sisters. I believe these qualities have helped me become the missionary I am today.

I learned yesterday that Jesus Christ became who He was and did what He did because He followed His Father. Our Heavenly Father glories in His Only Begotten. Dad, I hope my service the past 20 months has brought you joy and has been one that you can glory in. I do think a lot of you when I'm out working and inviting others to come unto Christ.

A lot of the talents I have come from you. I am not afraid to talk to anyone and I love to do it to. I believe this comes from watching how you've interacted with people and how you are not afraid to teach about the Gospel and share your testimony. This talent alone has helped bring several people in the fold.

Now, I understand I haven't been the best person at times and I know I've made mistakes but you've always desired the best for me and I've felt the countless prayers you've offered in my behalf.

The closest I've ever felt to you dad was when I went through the temple my first time. When everything was new and I didn't know what I was doing you were by my side helping me understand. I feel like this is what heaven will be like, with you by my side.

These are a few of the thoughts that I've had over the past day and what I explained to Sister Ebner yesterday. At the end she made this comment, "wow, you have a really great dad." To which I responded, "I really do."

Thanks for being you and especially a valiant servant in the Lord's kingdom. The greatest work we can do here on earth is laboring with the Lord in His vineyard and you have done and are doing this very thing.

I love you dad, always remember the great example you are to everyone around you.

-- Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

Some Photos 06/13/2011



The first two photos are just to show you how high the river is. The third is of Tyler's baptism.

06/13/2011 And My Soul Hungered

Hello Everyone,
This past week has been one of the most emotionally stressful weeks of my mission. Let me fill you in on it day by day with Tyler's conversion:
  • Sunday (5 June) He came to church and we had his baptism announced for Saturday (11 June) at 4PM. At church we told him we would come by on Tuesday to finalize any questions and prepare his program then have his interview on Thursday. That night is when we had the fireside that I told you about last week.
  • Tuesday - When we went to our appointment Tyler seemed to be heavily weighed down and not as bright with his testimony as he usually had been. We talked with him to find out that he didn't think he was going to be ready for baptism on Saturday and that he needed to prepare himself more. He said he felt bad because he felt like he was going to let everyone down especially because we had announced it at church and people were planning on attending but of course we knew this wasn't the real problem but was a cover-up issue. After questions and testimony we came to find out that he hadn't really prayed yet on his own and sincerely asked if this was true. We invited him to pray right when we left and promised him that he would receive yet another witness that this is all true. Keep in mind that Tyler knew that this was true and we knew it the problem was that he didn't know that he knew. He told us that he didn't want to give up on Saturday but that he would probably need to push it a week so he would feel more prepared. We asked him if we could come by the next day for a follow-up visit; he accepted.
  • Wednesday - Had a great lesson with Tyler! He prayed and he prayed hard. The closest experience I can relate him to would be Enos when he said, "and my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul." He had an interesting experience when he explained to us that he felt this feeling of burdens relieved from his shoulders. Now that I think about it we gave him a promise some 5 months ago that no matter what challenges or concerns we might have, the Savior and His teachings - the gospel, will help him. That's cool, the Holy Ghost just taught me right now that the answer to his prayer was a promise fulfilled. Interesting; I need to write this down.
    We talked some more and at this point he was still a bit unsure for Saturday but we promised him that if he went on with the baptismal interview he would know if we was ready or not based on what the Spirit tells him. We explained the role of the Elder that would be interviewing him as a representative of Jesus Christ and if the Elder said he was ready then it would be like the Lord telling him he was ready. He asked to have the interview so he could see for himself if what we promised him was real.
  • Thursday - The baptism interview. We met Tyler at the church and he went in for what usually is a 10 to 15 minute interview but this interview went for 50 minutes! When he came out he looked to Elder Owens and me and said, "looks like I'll be getting baptized on Saturday at 2:00."
  • Friday - Went to his house to put together the program. He explained to us that this whole time his family hasn't been supportive in any way which we had no idea about. He said that every day he experiences a new opposition like his friends not wanting to hang out with him because he doesn't drink anymore or his girlfriend who he's dated for 10 years gets mad at him because he's changing. Tyler explained to us that the opposition has only strengthened his testimony because he knows the gospel is true. He was telling us how frustrating it is that people don't think we can change but are the same person always. Tyler shared his testimony to us that change is possible and not only did it happen to him but that he's happy with the man he is becoming. This was one of the best moments of my mission to hear him testify of the change the gospel brings and that it is possible.
  • Saturday - the day of his baptism. Tyler showed up to the church all alone with no family support. I was surprised to see him by himself because I was expecting at least his girlfriend there but not a single person showed. He had the support of his new ward family there and that meant a lot to him. The baptism was fantastic; Elder Owens baptized him. Tyler shared with us his testimony when he came out and talked about how much he felt the Spirit and how great he felt. When everything was done we hugged him and the crowed left so we started cleaning up, after 5 minutes Tyler came back when it was just Elder Owens and me and told us that he had to come back and thank us for the gospel we have brought into his life, hugged us then left again. This is the power of change, the power to heal, and especially the power of God. I testify that these past few months of my life have made me the most happy than any other time in my life; I have a fullness of joy.
  • Sunday - I had the wonderful opportunity to confirm Tyler a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and give him the gift of the Holy Ghost. This event was powerful and emotional for me to be voice for Tyler to receive the gift that he so needed and worked for. How great is my calling!
Words in an e-mail don't adequately explain the feelings in my heart nor the emotions that my spirit feels. This is what I imagine heaven to feel like all the time.
We had another extremely awesome experience Monday night when we met with Linden. Linden moved here about 18 months ago from Montana from a divorce. He found a lady from Blackfoot who happens to be a young women's president in her ward. She has taught him the gospel and shared her testimony with him to the point where he became interested in the gospel. His girlfriend Heather took him to the visitors' center where Linden requested us to come see him. When we had our first lesson Monday and invited him to be baptized to which accepted. At our appointment Thursday he told us that he wasn't doing any of this for Heather but for himself because he believes the church to be true. Can you say GOLDEN??? He's preparing himself to be baptized on 9 July (Patrick Welch's birthday).
All is going well. I love what I'm doing. I love this area. I love the IPM!
--
Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

06/06/2011 Be Not Weary In Well Doing

Hello there!

Alright so I feel that Monday just comes faster and faster each week. Time is flying by too fast. I'm getting tired of hearing the following conversation daily:

person: "Elder, how long have you been out?"
me: "19 months"
person: "oh, wow, you are almost done!" or "you don't have much longer"
me: "yeah, I guess"
person: "well what are you going to do when you go home?"
me: "enter the 'real' world I guess and go to school"

I was getting tired of this conversation which happens practically verbatim daily so the other day I was in Shelley working with a companionship and had this following conversation:

person: "how long have you been out Elder Walker?"
me: "well these missionaries are training me so I haven't been out very long"
person: "how long?"
me: "a few days"
person: "cool, you've got a long time left to serve then don't you?"
me: "I sure do"

okay, okay, so it might have been bad to lie but it felt so good to hear the words "you have a long time left." I still do have a while left to serve and I'm going to make the best of every second of it.

We had a great experience with Tyler yesterday. We took him to the Temple Visitors' Center for an investigator fireside on the restoration. After the fireside I got to talking with him and he expressed to me that he didn't think he was ready to be baptized on Saturday. When I asked him why he didn't really have a good reason other than he didn't think he was ready. I explained to Tyler that if we all waited until we were ready to live the commandments then none of us would be baptized. We explained to him that it doesn't really matter if we think we are ready but what matters is if the Lord thinks we are ready. We sat down in front of the Christus and had him read D&C 20:37. When we read this verse with him we had him stop after each requirement the Lord lays out for baptism and asked Tyler if he believes the Lord accepts his desire for each point. The great part was that at the end Tyler was looking at the Christus and then told us that he is ready to be baptized on Saturday! Tyler is the most prepared investigator I have ever taught. I love that he is really searching and being "difficult" because that means when he is a member of the church he'll be more solid than if he was just jumping into it.

On Friday we had our monthly zone leader council which includes all the zone leaders, the directors of the visitors' center, the assistants, and President and Sister Colton. At each council President takes an hour to give us a doctrinal training. This doctrinal training is my favorite part of the month as President expounds the scriptures to us. This time we were studying in Gal 6:9, 2 Thes 3:13, and D&C 64:33-36 and learned a very important principle on enduring. When you read the passages listed you'll find a common trend in them which is "be not weary in well doing". This was a directed to me I'm pretty sure. It's interesting being out 19 months because I'm so tired all the time and I've been searching for my "second wind" if you will. President wrote the word "entrenched" on the board and said this is what we need to get out of. Why do we get ourselves stuck in a rut? So common we find ourselves doing the same thing time and time again and getting the same results. We find ourselves in a rut when we try our own will, let our pride get in the way, or even sin by omission. We constantly need to pray and ask the Lord what would he like us to do today to fulfil His purposes. I don't know about you but this puts a whole new meaning to the principle of endure to the end.

I think Heavenly Father is much like a theatre director to where he wants us to try something different each time we run a scene or in other words try something different in our efforts to building up the kingdom of God. Every soul is different and therefor their needs are different. This is a principle I'm learning as I approach people and offer them the Gospel.

I had a great experience with this when I was in Shelley on exchanges. We were driving through this Elder's area when he stopped the car, turned around and said he felt impressed to knock a certain door. We knocked and waited then a Hispanic man came to the door (I was in a Spanish area so luckily my companion speaks Spanish). Elder Duarte talked with him for a little bit getting to know him and then asked him this inspired question: "do you believe God has a plan for your family?" The man replied that he didn't know if He did or not. Then Elder Duarte said, "we felt that we needed to talk to you because we are here to teach you what the plan for your family is." This man let us in to an empty trailer with nothing but a husband and wife and three children ages 11, 10, and 8. The Hernandez family just moved from Mexico a week ago with nothing but their family for work. Elder Duarte and I (well actually just Elder Duarte because I don't speak Spanish) were able to teach them about the Book of Mormon and God's divine plan for them. They were so excited to hear the good news of the Gospel and invited us back and told us they wanted to be baptized. This work is so great!

Sorry this e-mail is random thoughts but this is what happens in my brain daily. I love you all. Hope you have a great week!
--
Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

05/30/2011 Faith

Hello Everyone!
It seems recently that we've been hearing a lot about the tornadoes out in the mid-west. I don't know if I understand the magnitude due to no pictures or seeing stories on the TV but I do feel sorry for those families involved. We've heard here that the missionaries in the area are no longer proselyting but are full service missionaries. It seems recently that crazy things are happening all over the world. Here in Idaho even there are some serious scares of flooding. The snake river is super full and the falls by the temple aren't really falls anymore because of the amount of water that is flowing down. We've heard that there is still loads of snow that is in the mountains that hasn't melted off yet which is really scaring people in IF and Firth especially. We've been told that the last major flood was in the mid '90s and we have more snow pack in the mountains this year than that year that it flooded. The citizens in Firth are already lining sand bags to prepare the even higher raise in snake river. The palisade's reservoir has been lowered down to only 10% in preparation of the snow melt. Crazy!

On Thursday we traveled to Pocatello for a leadership training meeting at the institute of ISU. I really really really enjoyed this training meeting because the focus was on faith and developing faith in missionary work. I may have shared this with you in the past but at the last interview President Colton told me, "we can have an obedient missionary that does all right things but without faith in Jesus Christ that missionary is useless." I think this is why we are in a slump right now in the zone because we have become complacent in our faith. What I'm about to share with you is what I learned in regards to missionary work but can still be applied to all aspects of living.

In Jacob 5 we learn the parable of the Lord of the Vineyard. President expounded this chapter to us and taught me a very important principle of the gospel about the Lord and missionary work. He said, "the Lord is always working in our area but He works specific parts of it daily." He encouraged us to pray and ask the Lord, "where are you working today? I will meet you there and labor with you." I love what President Faust said, "this is the Lord's work, we should let Him to a little bit of it." He said that when we, members of the church, were doing too much and not letting the Holy Ghost do His job. Anyway, we have seen much success from doing this and especially have seen how prepared people are when we meet them because they have already been prepared by their Savior to receive us. The important part is knowing that the Lord is working and preparing our brothers and sisters to receive us. So I invite you to do the same thing, ask the Lord where He is working that day and then go labor with Him. President Eyring said, "you are never alone in the Lord's work."

Another point of the training meeting I wanted to share was what Elder Peterson, one of the church's scholars on Joseph Smith, taught us about faith. He taught us what the Prophet Joseph taught in regards to faith. He said faith comes in three ways:
  1. Have an idea that God exists
  2. Have a correct knowledge of the attributes, characteristics, and perfections of God
  3. Knowing that the path you pursue is in accordance to the will of God
These three things are what brings us to have full and complete faith in our Heavenly Father. The more we come to know Him the more faith and trust we'll have in Him. Faith is the first principle of the Gospel because it leads us to act and to change. Faith is necessary if we are to receive revelation which is the only way to actually know God. When we say we believe in Christ that is because it has been revealed to us by the power of the Holy Ghost and this belief is the driving power to all joy and happiness which comes from the principles and ordinances of the Gospel.

This morning I read in Alma chapter 26 and I love verse 22, "Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing-unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God...yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance."

The work of the Lord is wonderful and always will be. Our greatest joy comes from bringing an individual into the gospel of Jesus Christ and fulfilling the purposes of God.
--
Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

05/23/2011 Photos




  1. The Colorado Elders! We're throwing up the 303
  2. This is this past week on Tuesday when we decided we wanted to bike to Shelley for district meeting. 15 Miles from our house to the Shelley South stake center
  3. These are the Sisters that were in my zone. The sister on the left is now home and lives in Orem Utah.

05/23/2011 The Word of Wisdom

Hello Everyone,

Alright so this week I do have a story to tell about an investigator rather than to tell you about what I have learned. You all know about Tyler well at least I think you do because I've talked about him much before and how awesome he is. The update with him is that we finally got him to attend church a couple weeks ago which we thought was the missing piece to the puzzle. He now loves church and really enjoys learning about the principles of the gospel. Come to find out, we found ourselves back in the same slump the following week of him not having a complete testimony of the gospel to be baptized. He was getting himself involved in the Old Testament rather than the Book of Mormon which caused too many questions for him about things not relevant to what we were trying to teach him. Elder Owens and I prayed and prayed about what to teach him and how to help him progress. The answer wasn't what we were expecting it to be; we were told to teach him about the word of wisdom. Now keep in mind Tyler is 23 and the most solid investigator I have ever taught on my mission and definitely the most prepared to receive the truth.

Our following lesson we taught him about the word of wisdom and found out he had an issue with alcohol and was pretty much getting drunk everyday. He understood the word of wisdom but was lacking the confidence he needed to live the commandment; he thought he would fail. The best part is we put it in his hands and told him this was the way to a full and complete testimony for baptism. From that point on we had daily contact with him to show our support and encouragement and at our next lesson 4 days later he told us that he hadn't had a single drink of alcohol! We were so excited for him and the best part is he had this new light about him that was fantastic to see. He seemed to be more excited about the gospel and more confident in his ability to live the commandments. Now, the best part of the whole deal is when we went to have our lesson last night. Tyler informed us that he had set down the Old Testament and started to read from the Book of Mormon and New Testament, he still hadn't drank any alcohol, and said that he is ready to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It was amazing to see the difference in his life as we watched the Holy Ghost completely take over and teach him the truth of the gospel. There is no better feeling than working with the Spirit to knock down barriers that will allow Him to teach and testify. There is a huge difference when an individual lives the word of wisdom and feels the Holy Ghost in their life. The promise is real, "And [we] shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures." (D&C 89) Tyler will be baptized now on 11 June.

Life is good, really good. I am happy and healthy. The church is true and God's promises are real! Let us shout this knowledge to the world!

--
Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

05/16/2011 I Feel My Savior's Love

Hello Mom and Dad,
Alright so I'm sure you are anxious to hear about transfers and where I'll be going. To my surprise I am going to be staying in Idaho Falls and serving with Elder Owens another transfer. I was shocked when I heard that because I thought for sure President Colton would be moving me but as it seems I do have more work to do here in the Taylor Mountain stake. I'm excited to stay don't get me wrong especially because I only wanted to have 4 areas on my mission so if this is my last zone leader area then I most likely will only have one more area. Of course this is all speculation but I really hope it works out this way. President did say that they'll be starting the new training program next transfer so we'll see if I get to start that. Crazy thought: the zone leader that was in longer than me just got rotated to train so I am now the oldest zone leader in the mission with 9 transfers serving in the assignment. There are no longer any zone leaders that were at my first zone leader council which makes my heart skip a beat because that means I'm getting super old.

I have a really personal story I want to share with you today and I'm not sure if this story is going to have any relevance to you but it does to me and I want to share it with my parents. Last night I was caught up again not able to sleep because my mind was racing and I kept thinking about this and that and mainly thinking about future life and plans with college. The thought came to my mind of what President Colton taught me, "the biggest temptation for a missionary is to ponder too much on the past and the future which causes us to forget about the now." After this thought came to my head the next thing I remember is waking up but the part between that thought and me waking up is what I want to share with you.

I had a dream, which felt like a reality; I was pondering in a strange room on the subjects which I was thinking about prior to falling asleep when President Hinkley walked in and sat with me in a chair opposite the one I was sitting in. The interesting thing is he looked just like you and me however this time he had a glow and a radiance about him that I would picture a spirit or a resurrected being to look like. What I loved most about the dream is he asked me, "my boy, what are you doing here all alone?" I replied and expressed all the thoughts, desires, discouragements, problems, and feelings about current matters and future ones. President Hinkley just listened and listened but what I could tell is what I was saying to him really mattered. We didn't just talk about school but we talked about the rest of my mission and other personal matters. All I remember him saying in return is, "Elder, I love you. Everything is going to be okay in the end." He then smiled at me for a minute, stood up, and walked out of the room. When he told me he loved me I could feel the Spirit overcome me like a wave of emotion. I woke up when he left the room and sat on my bed just crying because of how much I knew I was loved.

I will always remember this experience especially because of the way I felt. I can only remember feeling the Spirit so strong just three other times; when I decided to serve a mission, in the sacred grove, and in the celestial room of the Provo temple. I am so grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who gives us experiences like this that helps us to feel His love. The lesson I learned from this is we feel the real form of God love when we feel it by the power of the Holy Ghost. I know my Father loves me and I know He watches over me and shows His love to me when I need it the most.

I'm excited for another transfer in Idaho Falls and to bring the world His truth. How great is my calling!

--
Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

Which Way Do We Face - 05/09/2011

Hello Everyone,

The e-mail following Mother's day is the most difficult because you pretty much talk about everything and don't know what to report on this day. I did promise that I would send an e-mail today and I hope we can both learn something together.

If you recall Elder Kevin R. Duncan of the first quorum of seventy came to our mission on the 28th of April. This man is truly a disciple of the Lord and a witness to the world of Him. I wish to share everything I learned from this conference but most of it is about missionary work and things that I can change which would be boring for you to read, however I do wish to share with you two things I learned from him.

Elder Duncan told us that he was in a meeting with President Packer when President Packer asked him this question, "which way do you face?" This question was asked without much explanation at the start because Elder Duncan wanted us to ponder this question for ourselves. I wish to do the same with you; ponder what this question means to you. These are my thoughts on the question: do we represent the world to the Lord, or do we represent the Lord to the world? I believe this is what President Packer was referring to when he asked this question because Elder Duncan explained to us, "do we represent our area to the Lord or do we represent the Lord to our area?" This has really helped me put my baptismal covenants in perspective and I hope will do the same for you. We represent the Lord Jesus Christ at all times and in all places and people notice; we are always on stage. I believe we should constantly ask ourselves "which way do I face?"

At the conference I met Elder Bishop from England. The conversation was hilarious because I said to him, "Elder Bishop! You don't know me but I sure have heard a lot about you." He replied, "what do you mean?" I then said, "well let me just say that Bishop Ball is one of the greatest men I know." Haha! He was so confused! He did remember that he was supposed to look for an Elder Walker after we talked a while. He is a great missionary! I'm sure he'll be in leadership before we know it.

Preach my Gospel says, "Charity, like faith, leads to action."

I hope you all have a great week! I'll have much more to say next week.

--
Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

Flying High


Grandma - I Can Quilt!






This is for Grandma. I was taught how to bind a quilt so everytime I go to this humanitarian service project they give me my own machine and I go to work. This is actually pretty hard work.

May 9, 2011 P-Day Fun


A Talk Written By Elder Walker 4-28-2011


Elder Tyson Walker

28 April 2011

The Atonement and the Doctrine of Christ

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the foundation to all happiness and to my purpose as a His representative. My commission is to bring the message of salvation and the doctrine of eternal joy to my brothers and sisters; I do this by fulfilling my purpose of “inviting others to come unto Christ…through…Jesus Christ and His Atonement.” The Atonement, although difficult to define, is our means of receiving eternal life with the Supreme Creator; God, our loving Heavenly Father.

I heard this quote by Elder McConkie, "the Atonement isn't apart of the gospel, it is the gospel." The Atonement is central to God's plan and to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We’ve been trained on a principle from Elder Hallstrom of the presidency of the Seventy of how important our purpose is in fulfilling the plan of the Atonement. He teaches us, the doctrine of Christ or the missionary purpose is: faith in the Atonement, repentance through the Atonement, baptism because of the Atonement, and receiving the cleansing power of the Holy Ghost by the Atonement. This is our great purpose; when we fulfill this purpose it is then that we are one with the Godhead. Remember Christ's words, "If ye are not one ye are not mine." (D&C 38:27)

I've recently studied in 2 Nephi 25 and I love verse 20 that reads, "...as the Lord God liveth, there is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ, of which I have spoken, whereby man can be saved." I testify of what the prophet Nephi has said that it is only through Him, by Him, and of Him that we can be saved.

May we all increase our testimony of the Atonement and the Savior Jesus Christ. The promise is real in Preach my Gospel that as our testimony of the Atonement increases our desire to share the restored gospel with others will increase.

This knowledge has helped me internalize my purpose as I strive to understand the Atonement for myself. I too must invite myself to the same purpose as those I interact with. I am a witness that from the past 18 months of my life as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints my desire to share the restored gospel has indeed increased as my knowledge of what my Savior has done for me increased. Because of the Atonement I am here today standing as His witness in word and deed.

I testify as His witness that Jesus Christ is the living Son of the living God; He truly lives and reigns. The Savior is our Master, our Redeemer, our Lord, and our God. I know that by following His example we can and will find peace in this life and eternal joy in the life to come. His Atonement is real and because it is real we too will live again and become perfect spiritually, after all we can do, and physically because we have followed Him before. The best feeling in the world is to testify that God is our loving Heavenly Father and that Jesus is His son; the reason this is the best feeling in the world is because the Spirit will testify to each of us time and time again that this is true.

I leave you with the words of Elder Holland who says, "may we stand by Jesus Christ 'at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in, even until death,' for surely that is how He stood by us when it was unto death and when He had to stand entirely and utterly alone."

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

04/25/2011 A Missionary's Thoughts on Easter

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. From what I understand you woke up to snow there in Colorado; we didn't have any snow here in Idaho, just a beautiful spring day. I'm so thankful that it is finally warming up! We have almost run out of miles on our car because we were cut 300 so the nice weather helps us walk and ride bikes.

We have Elder Duncan from the first quorum of seventy coming this week for our zone conference. This zone conference is going to be way awesome because Elder Duncan has requested specialized training for all the zone leaders in the mission! We get to meet with him before zone conference in the high council room for an hour and he's doing it in two sessions so there will only be 10 of us meeting with a General Authority. Way cool.

For this zone conference I'm in charge of the musical number and the prelude and playing the organ... surprise, surprise. I guess I shouldn't say "for this zone conference" because I do this for all zone conferences and leadership meetings. Good thing I love to play right? For the musical number we'll be performing one of my favorite hymns, "Lord, I would follow Thee." I've arranged to have 6 Male and 4 Female voices with a way cool piano accompaniment. I hope Elder Duncan likes it.

For this e-mail I've entitled it "a missionary's thoughts on Easter" because I wanted to share with you my testimony of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ especially because of His Resurrection and His life.

My favorite part of being a missionary is to testify, to all I interact with, of Jesus Christ. My commission is to be a living witness in word and deed of the divinity of His great and marvelous latter-day work.

I testify as His witness that Jesus Christ is the living Son of the living God; He truly lives and reigns. The Savior is our Master, our Redeemer, our Lord, and our God. I know that by following His example we can and will find peace in this life and eternal joy in the life to come. His Atonement is real and because it is real we too will live again and become perfect spiritually after all we can do and physically because we have followed Him before. The best feeling in the world is to testify that God is our loving Heavenly Father and that Jesus is His son; the reason this is the best feeling in the world is because the Spirit will testify to each of us time and time again that this is true.

I've recently studied in 2 Nephi 25 and I love verse 20 that reads, "...as the Lord God liveth, there is none other name given under heaven save it be this Jesus Christ, of which I have spoken, whereby man can be saved." I testify of what the prophet Nephi has said that it is only through Him, by Him, and of Him that we can be saved.

I heard this quote by Elder McConkie, "the Atonement isn't apart of the gospel, it is the gospel." The Atonement is central to God's plan and to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel is faith in the Atonement, repentance through the Atonement, baptism because of the Atonement, and receiving the cleansing power of the Holy Ghost by the Atonement. This is our great purpose, "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in the Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." When we fulfill this purpose it is then that we are one with the Godhead. Remember Christ's words, "if ye are not one ye are not mine." (D&C 38:27)
May we all increase our testimony of the Atonement and the Savior Jesus Christ. The promise is real in Preach my Gospel that as our testimony of the Atonement increases our desire to share the restored gospel with others will increase.

I leave you with the words of Elder Holland who says, "may we stand by Jesus Christ 'at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in, even until death,' for surely that is how He stood by us when it was unto death and when He had to stand entirely and utterly alone."

I hope you all have a great week and look for opportunities to share this great news with the world because this is the best news this world has ever heard.

--
Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

04/18/2011 Hard Week / Heartbreaking News

After receiving some heartbreaking news from a family that Elder Walker has been working so closely with, he sent his weekly email just to his mom and dad - which just happened to be their wedding anniversary. The letter is too personal to share here. However... here is a portion that expresses some of what he is feeling:

Why them? Why now?

I love what Joseph says in the movie, Joseph Smith: the prophet of the Restoration, as he's talking with the builders of the Nauvoo temple, he says, "don't loose hope brethren, the Lord isn't just building a temple here He's building us." I firmly believe that my mission is what Elder Holland says, "the greatest person you save on your mission is yourself." The Lord has built me and will continue to build me. I have learned so much from Him.

President Colton said this, "you can have an exactly obedient missionary but without faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that missionary is useless." I know I must have faith in all things especially in times of trial. I love the Rigby family so much but I know if they remain faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ good things are to come.

Thank you for being faithful to each other for 31 years. Thank you for being the example we all need in this world. You have overcome the trails that have been presented to you thus far that would normally destroy a family not built on the gospel. I love you very much. Thank you for all the support you've given me.

Happy anniversary Mom and Dad.

please send your prayers this way as I know you always do.

--
Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

04/11/2011 The Power of the Holy Ghost

Hello Everyone,

Monday again? I feel as though I was just at this computer... Time flies.

Yesterday I had a great experience to play the piano for a Spanish investigator fireside at the temple visitors' center. This was the first time I listened to the hymns of Zion sung in Spanish. The best part of it all was the Spirit is just as strong.

I was surprised when I got there last night to have a huge bag of goodies for me from the Hahn family. Thank you so much!!! It was interesting trying to carry that bag out to the car when there are at least 20 missionaries to pass through that see candy and food! Luckily I made it through safely :)

Good week this week. I wish I had this epic story to tell this week but it looks like the most memorable stories to tell are the lessons I learn. I've started a part of my journal entitled: lessons I've learned from my mission.

This weeks lesson is as follows: To be honest I've had a really difficult time accepting Chelsee's new adventures in fact I think I was in denial. I felt like I wanted to be supportive but how could I when I felt so helpless. I knew I didn't want to make any of this about me or draw any attention so I didn't really mention anything except to Dad in e-mail. Yesterday I fasted to understand our Father in Heaven's plan and be accepting of it. When our Savior explains to His Apostles, "peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth give I unto you", I understood the comforting power that the Messiah was explaining that would comfort his friends after his departure and through their trails. I learned that only through the Holy Ghost can we understand and be content with the plan of our Heavenly Father.

The Holy Ghost taught me a very valuable lesson yesterday that although I won't be apart of this milestone in my sister's life I will still be around for eternity to rejoice in the goodness of the Gospel with my family. I can say that I understand more fully the Plan of Happiness especially now I can understand who the creator is of this plan. "And by the Power of the Holy Ghost we may know the truth of all things."

Our Heavenly Father cares about us. Even though my problem was minor, and probably insignificant it was not insignificant to Him. He cared about me enough to not only comfort me but help me understand His purposes.

When 6 months comes and I'm preparing to enter back into the world I think I can say the biggest trait that I have developed is trust in the Lord for He truly is concerned for each one of us.

I love you all. Hope you have a great week! "Let us all press on in the work of the Lord."

--
Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

04/04/2011 The Book of Mormon is True

Hello Everyone!

This week truly was a fantastic week!

Exchanges are a wonderful experience and my favorite thing to do as a leader. Miracles happen when you bring other missionaries in your area to work. The miracle that happened is as follows: I brought Elder Mecham (from Monument, Colorado) to my area and we had scheduled to take an investigator to the visitors' center to show him our new exhibit called "reflections of Christ" a photography exhibit and the Joseph Smith film. Mike, our investigator, has attended church several times, reads the Book of Mormon daily, and prays, so our question was the same as I'm sure yours is; "why does he not have a date to be baptized?" Trust me, we invited him about 5 times before but to no success, in fact the last time he almost dropped us because he said we were being too pushy for asking him so many times. This time, however, was different because we knew the missing ingredient, Mike didn't know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. After we showed him the film we all sat there for what seemed like a couple of minutes in silence as the Spirit did His job. We then asked him the inspired question, "do you believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet?" His response was simple yet very profound when he said, "after that movie, I do." We then immediately asked him to be baptized to which he accepted and said he was wanting to be baptized on his birthday, May 18th. How great is the power of the Holy Ghost in conversion! This is yet another testimony to me that this is His work perfectly united with our Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ.

We do have transfers this week and it looks like there is more work for me to do here in Taylor Mountain. Elder Owens and I will be together for another 6 weeks which I am totally okay with; Elder Owens and I get along great. Next transfers will be on the 18th of May.

I finished the Book of Mormon this week again. I love each time I finish the Book of Mormon because the power of the Spirit teaching me that it is true is remarkable. There is a power to this sacred book. I'm still on track to completing it 7 times on my mission. I feel old in the mission when I think that I've already completed it 5 of those 7 times already! Time is going far too quickly.

I add my witness to that of our General Authorities from conference that the Book of Mormon is true. I know it is the word of God and contains the fullness of the everlasting Gospel. I have found in my life that I have come to know my Father in Heaven more by reading this sacred text than any other book. I know the Book of Mormon is the way we are intended to truly know Him and His plan for our happiness.

Pretty much what I am saying is the Book of Mormon is great! Read it.

Well that's it for here in Idaho Falls. I'm doing great and I'm excited for my 13th transfer in the Idaho Pocatello Mission!!

--
Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

03/28/2011 Murder Next Door

I forgot to mention something really important! My mission is as cool as Devin's mission because we had a murder next door last Monday night! This is legit! Not that someone died but that Idaho is semi scary too. haha just joking, Idaho isn't scary at all. This event is the biggest news Idaho has seen in years and the cool thing is that it happened right outside our house.

Not to worry though because we didn't even know it happened until people started telling us about it. :)

--
Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

03/28/2011 Busy Week

Hello everyone!

This past week has been crazy and extremely busy. Tuesday morning we left for Pocatello and didn't get back until Thursday afternoon from the leadership training meeting. Our training went really well. We received some great compliments from it afterward and President Colton told us we trained exactly the way he wanted. We focused a lot on the preparation necessary to receive revelation and looked a lot to the Prophet Joseph Smith as an example to how we should prepare ourselves to receive greater revelation. We may not have quite the experience as the prophet but we are promised that if our heart is prepared, God promises answers. Moroni 10:4 teaches us how to be prepared.

Friday we had a zone leader council for several hours and made plans of how to implement the trainings we received and "make it rain." When Elder Scott was in a stake meeting the discussion was how to get word out to all the members of the stake; they discussed several metaphors of gardening like trenches and rivers when Elder Scott said, "brethren, we need to make it rain." President Colton likes to use this example when talking about sharing what we know with the missionaries we serve.

At this zone leader council President trained on Jacob 5. I now love this chapter because we learn the importance of laboring with the Lord. We particularly studied ch. 70 to 77 and learned that the servant that is talked about is the Prophet Joseph Smith. These verses are all about this last dispensation and how we need to labor with Joseph to gather zion before the earth is destroyed by fire. As I ponder on this I assume that the servant can also be known as President Monson and the allegory is the same. Our dear prophet is laboring to gather the elect preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah, we too must labor with him and fulfil our purpose of inviting others to come unto Christ. We are so blessed to have a prophet to labor with and to know the secrets of our God. I love to state to others that I have been called by a prophet of God to share what I know; I know that my message is true.

Saturday was a payday as brother Rob House was baptized. His wife was baptized back in September and has been trying to get baptized since then. He's had a smoking habit that he couldn't kick but finally was able to do it with many prayers and fasting. He has already been interviewed and will receive the Aaronic Priesthood the Sunday after next. Elder Rudd and I were able to travel to Poky to see 2 baptisms that we helped with. It was really great to see people in Pocatello again.

All is well in Idaho. We received a few inches of snow last night! I thought is was all going to be gone finally but I was definitely wrong.

I hope you all are doing great and that you love life. Keep smiling!

--
Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

3/28/2011






Here are some pictures from the past week:
The picture on the tredmil has a sweet story attached.
The baptism of a family Elder Rudd and I taught in Poky
The baptism of Brother Rob House
The former Sister Wardell who I saw at the Visitors' Center last night. She's doing well and is planning on going to LDSBC in the fall.
Elder Owens and I being legit.

Prayer 03/21/2011

Hello Everyone,

We have successfully moved into our new house. I wish I took pictures that I could show you all how awesome our new place is but I forgot. We are having the zone over today for a BBQ in our backyard.

I'm not sure if you've seen the new videos called "Mormon Messages" maybe online or if you've purchased the DVD at Deseret Book. It is a collection of videos that contain messages of hope and inspiration from the Apostles and our Prophet and even some members of the Church.
These videos were created originally for youtube but are now available on DVD. I invite you all to search them out on youtube or purchase a copy. These videos are fantastic! I've used them in nearly every teaching appointment since I bought it last week and have seen success from doing so.

Tomorrow we leave for Pocatello to go to a 3-day leadership conference at the Idaho State University institute building. I'm pretty excited for this conference because they are all usually pretty good and I learn a lot. For this one Elder Owens and I have been asked to give a 2 hour training on revelation through prayer. I learned something about prayer in an experience we had while preparing this training on prayer... interesting isn't it?

We have been praying and pondering on the topic for several days now and several times we tried to put the training together but nothing would come. We had these ideas so we wrote them on the board but then they wouldn't make sense or we would forget where we were going with it. I received this prompting on Saturday to call President Colton and ask him for some advice to which he said, give me a couple days to think and I'll get back to you. Now mind you, we are leaving really early tomorrow which leaves us with today to prepare the training. This morning President Colton got back to us and asked us to focus on the revelation part more so than the prayer part. With that advice we grabbed the white board and all our notes and study material and sat on the ground to draw up the outline. The ideas flowed and the outline came with ease. We finished everything in an hour. The Spirit completely took charge and guided us on what to train the missionaries on. The lesson I learned is that the Lord is mindful of us and only answers prayers on His time and when He does, it's perfect.

In my study of prayer I learned a lot about the preparation that takes place prior to and during a prayer. We learn of the preparation of the Prophet Joseph that took a significant amount of time prior to him actually entering the sacred grove to plea with the Father. We learn of Job of old who was taught about the preparation necessary prior to asking the Father, "...prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him." And of course we know of Moroni who exhorts us to prepare for revelation, "...ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ..." I've learned that receiving answers or help from our Supreme Creator we must prepare ourselves prior to even asking in the name of Christ. The question is do we explain this to people when we invite them to pray to know if the Church is true? Do we understand the significance of prayer and the commandment to pray often? I know that I can rise to a new level and apply myself better.

I love what Elder Scott says in regards to prayer. He explains that Heavenly Father is the Grand Creator of all things both in heaven and in earth and yet He invites you and I, as insignificant as we are, to call Him Father and have a personal relationship with Him. Elder Scott then concludes by stating that He will listen and answer our prayers.

I'm excited to let you all know how the training goes this week. We're the last part of the conference and will present on Thursday.

I hope you are all doing great and are loving life. All is well here.

--
Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

3-14-2011 Crazy Week Ahead

Hello Everyone,
First off we are officially moving houses tomorrow so please discontinue letters to the current address and either send to the mission office or direct to the new house.

What a great week! This transfer we are packed with exchanges going on 2 a week. This past week I was able to go with a new missionary and with Elder Rudd. Both exchanges were awesome for different reasons. The first was wonderful because Elder Starley has a huge amount of love for everyone and wants more than anything to be the best missionary he can be. For the exchange I prayed and asked Heavenly Father that He would allow us to set a baptism date so the exchange would be one that Elder Starley would always remember. Not only did Heavenly Father allow us to set a baptism date, he let us set two! We were following up with a new investigator on his reading and praying when he asked us to come in because he had a couple questions. When he asked his questions I could see the wheels turning in his head as we answered questions about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. One question led to another which led to another until finally he was taught the whole restoration lesson. When we were about to conclude his girlfriend came in and asked us a question about life after death and she was then enticed to ask more questions which led to teaching all about the plan of salvation. Normally I would never teach all of 2 lessons but they were soaking in everything we taught them! Their questions would lead to the next principle of the lesson and we couldn't teach fast enough to what they were gathering. At the end I nodded for Elder Starley to invite them to be baptized and they both accepted a date for 16 April.

The exchange was sweet with Elder Rudd. Usually an exchange takes some time to get to know the missionary and learn quick how to teach with them but since I already served 3 transfers with Elder Rudd we just hit the pavement and went to work. It was a weird feeling serving with him in a different area other than Poky but great for the work we accomplished. I'm going to be sad to see him go in a few weeks.

Elder Owens and I are constantly running like crazy and giving trainings right and left. We are preparing a training for next week that President Colton asked us to give at a leadership conference in Pocatello on Revelation through prayer. We are responsible for training roughly 75 missionaries for 2 hours! Yay. Try balancing that plus a training for the zone on Thursday on obedience then a training for our district leaders right after, a training for a district meeting tomorrow, planning and preparing a zone blitz for Saturday, packing and moving house tomorrow, exchanges Wed and Fri, plus teach the gospel in 4 wards.... Welcome to the life of a zone leader. Funny thing is I love every second of it!

The Gospel is true. I'm so excited for conference in a couple weeks to hear the council from our Prophet (and also to take off the suit jacket until October). The work is moving forward. I love this great standard of truth!

--
Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

3-14-2011

This is what happens when you give 2 missionaries a Subaru and the snow melts which causes muddy roads... not a good combo. haha!