Friday, November 4, 2011

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

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