Elder Nathan Walker - Utah Logan Mission - 179 East 800 North - Logan, UT 84321

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Week 25 - Christmas Week

Hey everyone!

This week was great.  Last Tuesday, we found a new investigator named Norman Reyez.  He is from Las Vegas and he is impressed with how we Mormons act and how safe his kids are now.  He has had 3 lessons so far and is working toward baptism.  He is great and asks really good questions.  So we're super excited.  Hopefully I get to stay here one more transfer.

I'm excited to talk to a lot of you on Christmas.  I hope you all are doing well.  I'm sorry I can't write a bunch, today is really busy.

Anyway, love you all!  Have a great week!

Elder Walker

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Week 24 - I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

Hey everyone, this week was pretty good.  We had a good amount of lessons and we were able to meet with both Steve and Valentina on Sunday.  We went over the baptismal interview questions with Steve, to see where he is at.  His only hang-ups are that he does not fully know yet if the prophets are true prophets, and he has a bit of a problem with the coffee and tea part of the Word of Wisdom.  We explained that getting a testimony of living prophets is essential, and that once that testimony is established then any of the issues with things like the Word of Wisdom resolve themselves.  We told him we would start helping him focus on knowing if the prophets are truly called of God and we challenged him to start earnestly praying for a knowledge of the truth.  He agreed.  So, we'll keep praying, I hope he gets his answer soon.  He also figured out I play the violin and he told me that I need to bring it next time so we can play together.

We also have a lot of Less-Actives that we are teaching, and we just picked up two more who want to be taught.  They are all great, I just wish we could find more non-members, but we are looking!

Anyway, cool service project this week!  We were recruited by Elder Dewey to help him slaughter 13 chickens to give to some needy Hispanic families.  So Elder Fortuna sat it out and took a nap instead, but I invited Elder Wheeler and Elder Kuck from the District to come help out.  It was an interesting experience.  After we killed the chickens, we had to pluck them and gut them.  It was a pretty dirty job, but is was for a good cause.  The families really appreciated it.

I was thinking about what to share with y'all this week and Alma 29:1-3 came to mind.
1 O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!

2 Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.

3 But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.

Often times we wish that we could have some awesome power to go and convert people.  We wish we could be Angels, just as Alma wished.  What we need to realize though, is that the Lord has given us our own spiritual gifts, that we can use to share the gospel with our friends and family who do not have the gospel.  We need to be content with what we have been allotted, and not wish for more, avoiding the gifts we have been given because we feel we could use more.

I wish to invite you all to figure out your spiritual gifts, and then use them to increase the faith of those around you.  I promise that as you do this, and as you share the gospel with others, you will become someone's angel.

I love you all and I hope you have a great week.  You are all in my prayers.

Elder Walker

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Week 23 - The Living Christmas Card

Our investigators came to church and we finally got a translator so we can teach Valentina.  She's such a sweet lady.  She grew up in Communist Russia and she ranted for a really long time about how awful it was. She loves Christ though and she told us that she would read the pamphlets that we got her in Russian.  So we really hope she likes what she reads.  We are going to start meeting with her regularly on Sundays and will answer any questions that she has from reading the pamphlets.  I really hope she accepts the gospel message.  She prays every night that God will just take her home and I am hoping that the gospel will show her that she still has a purpose here is life.

We are still trying to get Steve to recognize the spirit and it is a slow process, but, we hit hard on the spirit and it is a slow process, but, we hit hard on the spirit every week.  He seemed super happy when he came to church this week, but he left right after sacrament meeting.  We might do the living Christmas card with him.  The living Christmas Card is where we get names from the ward council of people to visit.  We then show up in the evening and sing silent night.  Then we ask if we can take 10 minutes to read the Christmas story with the family and share a Christmas message.  Then we invite them to Church and leave a blessing on the home.  Short and sweet.  It's pretty fun.

Anyway, I'm going to cut things short.  Love you all!  I hope you have a great week!

Elder Walker

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Week 22 - Thanksgiving

Hey everyone, sorry that I didn't email last week.  I had a nice big draft all typed out but when I went to send it at a Church Building, it was completely blank, so I kinda gave up.  BUT!  I am writing this week, so hopefully I am forgiven.

Thanksgiving was a really slow week.  We had quite a few lessons planned, and all of them except for our Sunday lesson got canceled.  That was kind of disappointing, but we had a lot of fun with members (they felt bad for us walking in the snow).  For Thanksgiving dinner, we went to the Salisbury home.  They invited us over and at first they were planning on having us from 2 to 7, but we quickly explained that we had another family that wanted us to come over for dessert.  The Salisbury's were a great family, all of their kids were adopted Japanese kids (he went to Japan on his mission), they were super funny.  Sister Salisbury will talk and talk...so we just chatted for a while and then our dessert family called and they were like "When are you coming over???"  It was the Watteyne's, the Bishop's family and they are basically my surrogate family in the Green Canyon Stake (they already call me son, sorry Mom).  OH!  that reminds me!  I didn't get to tell you about my son because last week's email got deleted.  His name is Elder Fortuna, he is 21 years old, he likes to write, and he is engaged to a girl on a mission in Ecuador.  He is a great kid.  He is awesome, and he will be a great missionary.

Anyway!  Back to the Watteynes.  They are fantastic.  They have so many kids and they always insist on playing games when we come over (so of course I had to bring my box of games).  Anyway, they helped me prank Elder Fortuna on his first day.  They pretended to be less-active and anti-mormon.  It was awesome because when they told us we couldn't come in I just made an excuse and then pushed open the door, which caused Sister Watteyne to almost give it away by laughing and Elder Fortuna to be completely shell shocked.  So we let it go on for a while, until Bishop came home, which kinda gave it away.  I knew Elder Fortuna could take it though, so he kinda just laughed it off.  So yeah, we went for Thanksgiving and they wanted to play werewolf, so I narrated and they played.  Then they taught us a campfire game they called "Big Buddha" it was actually pretty fun, but I'm not even going to attept to describe it.  Then I taught them timeline and Coup while we ate pie.  They are now obsessed with Coup and that game is now all that they want for Christmas.  So yeah, it was a good Thanksgiving.

The day before, I got selected to go to a special meeting with someone from the Mission Department in Salt Lake, Brother Donaldson.  We discussed getting back to the basics and putting an emphasis on proper planning.  It went from 9am to 4pm and it was soooo long.  However, we were all spiritually uplifted and it was a great experience.  It is going to revolutionize the mission.

On Sunday, we got to speak in Bishop Watteyne's ward.  He had us speak on Sabbath Day observance.  So I talked about how we all make covenants to live the law of Consecration and how we should be willing to consecrate the Sabbath and set it apart from other days.  I hope someone got something out of it.  Bishop said it was awesome.

So yeah, other than that, we've just been trying really hard to find new investigators.  I did a baptismal interview last night for the Logan East Elders and that went well.  Hopefully we don't get so many cancelations this week

Anyway, love you all, I hope you all have a good week.

Elder Walker

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Week 21 - New Companion Elder Fortuna (No group email this week - so here's mine)

Hey, Mom

Sorry , I had a group email all typed up last night so that I could send it, but when we got to the church it was all deleted and the draft was empty.  So I figured I'd get your email done first, just in case I run out of time.  I've been having a good week.  Thank you for the Birthday gifts, I have enjoyed them a bunch.  I got the German chocolate cake which was nice.  Did you have Elder Child drop that off?  (Nope!  A wonderful missionary mom, Sister Kelly, from Logan made that for you!)  I hope things are going well back home.  We have had two investigators start taking anti classes, so sadly, they have dropped us.  We still have two, but one is now out of town, so we will be trying to find more.  I know that the Lord hs something planned though, so I am trusting him.  Tell everyone thankyou for the birthday video.  I'll attach my birthday video from Thursday night.

My son is doing well, he likes to write stories and he is from Mesa Arizona.  His name is Elder Fortuna.  I am doing my best to get him all trained up.  I miss you mom, I hope you know I love you.  Have a great week, I'm still praying for you every night.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Week 20 - I'm Getting a Greenie!

Hey everyone!!

So, exciting news!!  I'm training!  I get my greenie tomorrow morning.  I hope he's great.  Elder Jerdon is leaving, but he's moving an area over so he's still in my District.  Elder Wible's transfer is going to be a little rough.  He called me last night to talk about it.  He is excited, but this will be be his his hardest transfer.  I cheered him up by telling him I was wearing silk suit pajamas and a turkey hat.  That helped him out a bit.  I'm going to keep in better touch with him so that he can stay positive.

This week has been pretty good.  I'm excited to have a new companion. We are all at the stake center playing games as a District for the last time.  I am still District Leader, so not much has changed.

I hope everyone is doing well.  I'm praying for all of you.

Elder Walker

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Week 19 - Let It Snow!

It snowed!!  Finally!!

Hey everyone, I hope everything is going well back home, I miss all of you.  I've had a great week, we've been able to teach a lot more lessons and the people we are meeting are amazing.

I do have bad news however...Our investigator Mario, well he got kicked out of his apartment on Friday, and his fellowship last saw him  when he dropped him off at a fruit stand in Brigham City....So, yeah...Kinda out of our area.  So we lost our investigator.  But he still wants to get baptized so we're sending his record to the other Elders.

On a good note, today we got to go to the temple.  It was great and I got a lot of my questions answered.  As a result today was really busy, so that's why I'm emailing so late.

Hope everything is going well!

Elder Walker

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Week 18 - Miracles Come From Diligence

Hey everyone, I hope everything is going well back home.  Sorry I didn't write yesterday, they randomly switched our P-Day to Wednesday because we had a visit from Elder Ringwood of the Seventy yesterday.  That wasn't my favorite, kinda ruined my email plans :/  But aside from that fact it was a great visit.  Elder Ringwood talked a lot about keeping all of our many commandments and we had a great discussion as a group of missionaries.  It got really heartfelt at times and I'm sure all of us in the room were tearing up near the end.  He truly cared about us, I could tell by the spirit he brought.

The last topic of discussion was brought up by Elder Atkinson.  We were discussing with Elder Ringwood and we had been reading Moroni 7 where it talks about the miracles we get if we have strong enough faith.  He said that he didn't always see miracles, even if he was diligent, so that he felt like he needed to do better in some way, and wanted to know how.  Elder Ringwood said, we've been reading about all the promised blessings that we receive if we are faithful and diligent and do all we can do.  God always keeps his promises.  If we are diligent, at the end of the day you can pray and say, "Heavenly Father, we've done absolutely everything that we could think of to find people today.  We've talked to everyone and made all the visits we could fit into our schedule.  I know, that a miracle happened today...And I don't care if I ever see it."

We don't always see the miracles that come from our diligence.  Some take years to be completed.  But because we know that our Heavenly Father does not break his promises, if we do our part, we know that there was a miracle.  It may not have been a full completed miracle, but we know that we started one somewhere.  We need to have the faith that a miracle did happen.   We need to have faith to not care if we ever see the end result of it or not.  He put it much better, but I just thought I'd share it because it was really heartfelt and made me tear up.

Anyway, the week went great.  We were able to teach more lessons and I'm finally getting used to being District Leader.  We went out to lunch with another companionship in our District.  We ate at Angie's and we flipped two lids and cleaned the sink.  I'll attach some photos of the two lids we devoured, but I don't have a picture of the sink, so I'll go ahead and explain that part of it.  They bring out a kitchen sink that is filled with ice cream, bananas and all sorts of toppings and it's huge.  The ice cream is at least a foot tall and maybe a foot and a half in length.  Massive....We prayed in the middle of the meal that we would be able to finish, and miraculously, we did.  I'm proud, yet not proud at the same time...

Wendell is Awesome!  He's so solid.  He's the investigator that just moved into our area.  He is a football coach and his baptism is set for the 21st of November. His two brothers have basically shunned him and have told him he's a disgrace to the family by joining with those white Mormons, and so he spent a lot of time crying and we didn't get to the lesson, but we were able to console him.  He said it doesn't change his decision, he can't go against the answer he got from God, he just wishes that his family would support him.  But anyway, he's going to have the entire football team sing Army of Helaman at his baptism, the non-member players say they'll do it too.  And the entire cheerleading team will be there.  Not to mention all the ward members that will be there.  We won't be able to fit them all in the relief society room.  It's awesome.  I'm so happy for him!

So yeah, I've had a great week, my testimony is growing so much.  I love you all and I hope things are going well for all of you.  You're in my prayers.

Elder Walker

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Week 17 - The A Team

Hey, so not feeling as stressed anymore.  If the subject says that it's because I'm on the computer and I don't know how to change the subject when I'm not using my iPad.

This past week has been pretty good.  I was able to get through another District Meeting and it went pretty well, the spirit was there.  I'm really thankful that my District participates, it helps a lot.  As far as the area goes, the work is pretty slow, as far as finding people goes.  We haven't found anyone as a result of tracting yet, and we've gone through all of our apartment buildings and the unbaptized list...nobody.  All of our investigators are basically miracles that I hope are coming as a blessing for not giving up haha.  We are teaching Mario, he was on date, but he didn't come to church this week so we had to take him off, but we should be able to get him back on date tonight.  We also have a new investigator that just moved into our area and we have him on date as well.  His name is Wendell and he coaches football.  Luckily he has a good fellowship because all of his coaching staff consists of either current bishops, former bishops, and an former stake president.  So yeah, we've got the A-Team when it comes to teaching Wendell.

Anyway, I'm really excited, we should be able to get them baptized next month and I'm really happy to see them progress.  We've tracked everywhere, so we're going to start helping the stake implement some ideas that I got from my previous stake that will help the missionary effort here be more efficient.  President Walker got really excited about all the plans we came up with.  He also thinks I'm related to him for some strange reason....

Thank you guys for all the support you give me, I appreciate it a bunch.  I hope all is well back home and I hope you have a great week.

I love you all,
Elder Walker

Elder (Ariel) Walker at the Pumpkin Walk

The Bishop's family stole my iPad!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Week 16 - Green Canyon Stake

Hey everyone!  Week two in the Green Canyon Stake is complete!

I'm doing much better now, my stress levels have gone down substantially, but I'm still not very relaxed about my situation yet.  My first District Meeting actually went pretty well.  I had a few Elders come up and tell me that my training was an answer to prayer, so I'll take that as I did alright.  However, I do know that none of that was me, it was basically all the spirit.  The discussion was amazing and we all ended up teaching and edifying one another.  The training was on involving the Lord in finding, and having the courage to act on any spiritual promptings that we receive.  I'm just glad it's over with... Oh wait!  That's right... I have to give another one tomorrow.  Yay me!

Anyways, yeah, I'm doing fine.  We had another baptism this Saturday, it was great.  The turnout was crazy.  We filled the entire relief society room, with no room to spare.  The spirit was super strong, and Sue (the Sister who got baptized) bore a wonderful testimony that made me tear up.  The only downside was that the two guys who gave the talks on baptism and the Holy Ghost that ended up giving an entire account of the early Church history.  It was soooo long!  But the baptism was awesome and I'm super happy for Sue.

Sue's Baptism Day

Saturday afternoon, after the Baptism, we managed to find a new investigator and put him on date to be baptized on the 7th of November.  He's a great guy, his name is Mario.  The only problem is that he lives with his LA girlfriend and so we have to work on getting them married.  I'm excited to teach him, we have an appointment with him tonight.  So pray for us!

We also had interviews with President on Thursday, so that finally happened.  It went really well.  I love President Allred, he is a great man and he definitely has a special mantle about him.  He related things about the gospel, to me playing the violin and it was really interesting.   We also had a Family History training while we were waiting for our turn to interview.  That was pretty cool.  I love family history, I just don't know how much help I would be trying to get any farther back than grandpa has.  So if you have any Family History tips grandpa, let me know.

Anyway, I don't have a lot of time, but I love you all and I want you to know that I pray for you every night before bed.  I hope everything is going good back home.  Stay strong, and always trust in the Savior and in the promptings of the Spirit.

Elder Walker

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Week 15 - New Companion - Elder Jerdon

Well, I don't have a lot of time today, we don't have a truck anymore so it takes us forever to get anywhere.  Things are going pretty good I guess.  I give my first training tomorrow and interviews with the president are on Thursday.  We're at the church playing speed ball but we're going to have to leave soon if we want to get anything done.

I'm pretty stressed out, I don't know why.  Everyone in my District is pretty great, they're all Star Wars fans so that's a plus.  I tracted into L. Tom Perry's brother a few days ago which was cool.  Then we got a ride home from Chris Heimerdinger, the author of Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites series.

Elder Jerdon's lifelong friend, Ian Weldely served in this mission a few months ago, along with Mitchell Gay.  They're going to USU and they've been feeding us for the past few nights.  They're awesome.  They're taking us to the gym every morning now as well.  I'm starting to get used to the area, so that's good.

Last night we taught one of the Bishop's families and played werewolf with them.  Elder Jerdon plays it different though, it's wierd.  But everyone here is pretty great.  I miss the Wamsley's though.  Anyway, I'll send some pictures of the mountains I took while we were walking.  I hope all of you are doing well, I love y'all.

Oh!  And I got to go to Travin's baptism!!

Elder Jerdon and Friends

Travin's Bapstism 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Week 14 - Goodbye Smithfield, Hello Green Canyon Stake

Hey everyone!

Sorry if this week's email is a bit shorter than usual, it's been a stressful week and after Saturday evening and Mission Leader Training yesterday I'm really freaking out.  So, results of transfers...Here we go:

1.  I am not going to be a daddy (trainer)...  But I am going to be a step dad (stressful).
2.  I am leaving Smithfield South and going to the Green Canyon Stake in Logan (transfers are tomorrow).
3.  I got a call Saturday...I'm now a District Leader (very stressful).

So yeah...Not only am I being put into a lot of responsibility and finishing someone's training, they're moving me into a zone where I know absolutely no one, so this should be interesting.  But I guess I'll figure it out...Eventually.

It kinda sucks, we have 3 baptisms this weekend and we've started teaching Levi, and Karis and Ivy's older sister wants to be baptized too, and we have a new nine year old who wants to be baptized, oh, and three boys next to the Wamsley's who finally said okay to us teaching them... And now that all this is happening, I'm gone!  Woohoo!  So great!  Nope, not at all.  Elder Nielsen's new son is going to be so spoiled....  (He's training)

Anyway, I guess I should list some perks to being transferred:

1.  Apparently my new apartment is even nicer than this one and has a ping pong table.
2.  The new area is almost all apartments I've heard (goldmine)
3.  One of the complexes is apparently filled with a ton of cute girls.  (Don't worry grandma I'll be focused on missionary work)
4.  My new step-son is a Stud, from what I've heard, so I'm excited to Baptize the whole area with him!
5.  It's a walking area (I won't get fat!  Or, I mean, I won't get more fat)

So anyway, I love you all, I'll let you know how this week goes.  Wish me luck!

Elder Walker

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Week 13 - Exchanges

Hey everyone,

I hope everything is going smoothly back home.  Things are going pretty good out here.  We exchanged with the Zone Leaders on Wednesday and Elder Alsterburg and I found a golden investigator in the apartments.  His name is Levi and he moved here from California about a month or two ago to get into the aviation program at USU.  We asked him at the door if he believed in Jesus Christ and God, and he said that he believed that Jesus saved us from our sins, but he hates it when people say they're saved and then go out and do bad things.  He thinks we need to actively be better.  I did a mental fist bump and was like, no way!  Us too!  He was surprised and invited us in to hear more.  We explained the Book of Mormon to him and he was like, That makes sense, I was always confused at why God would only talk to people in one part of the world and not anywhere else.  That got me super excited, so we explained that God is our Heavenly Father and that we can talk personally with him through prayer.  He thought that was cool.  Then he invited himself out to church and we didn't have to ask him at all, same with reading the Book of Mormon, so we left him with a copy and we have a lesson set up with him for this Saturday.  I'm excited!

Next weekend is Travin's baptism!  And it's solid, the Uncle finally agreed to do it then!  I'm super happy for him.  But I might get transferred after this week, which would suck because the week after that, Ivy and Karis are going to be baptized as well, plus, I want to teach Levi.  I guess whatever happens, happens though, so I'll trust the Lord.  This is the last week of the transfer, I'll find out Saturday if I'm training or anything like that, I really hope I don't get a call though, I'm still not super solid on everything and I'd prefer to feel more comfortable about it.  I'm super excited for General Conference, three new apostles!  It's going to be great :)  I'm really excited to hear what they all have to say, what with all the events that are going on and all that.  The world is moving farther and farther away from the church and at an increasing rate.

I'm almost done with the Book of Mormon, I love reading it, I spend an hour each morning reading it usually, unless I decide to read from Jesus the Christ (which is a good thing to read, all you missionaries that are about to leave) and I love all the insight it gives me.  Anyway, I'll let you know what happens to me next week, I love you all and I hope you have a great week!  You're all in my prayers.

Elder Walker

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Week 12 - A Much Better Week


This week went much better than last week.  We ended up teaching about 14 lessons, I believe, which is the most that I've done in a while.  We stayed pretty busy, between all the lessons, meetings and finding opportunities.

This Saturday, we had the opportunity to hear from Elder Ballard.  He came and spoke to the whole mission and it was great.  I have now shaken hands of two Apostles, 13 to go.  Yay!  I'm really excited for General Conference in October!  I can't wait to find out who the new Apostles are and to hear from them.  Wow, October, I can't believe that I've already been out this long (even though three months is nothing compared to 24).

I'm excited to see my investigators finally enter the waters of baptism, they actually have rock solid dates now.  I really hope I don't get transferred, I want to be able to see the people I've been working with for so long finally take that step next month.  It's crazy.  This next transfer we are getting 26 new missionaries, 26!  We have no idea where they are all going to go.  I don't even know if there are enough areas.  What I do know though, is that they need trainers.  If you take out the Elders who are Zone Leaders, and the AP's, and those who are already training, and then the not so diligent Elders, there is an 85% chance that every Elder will be training...That means me...  Scary stuff.

Anyway, I'm having a great time, Elder Nielsen is awesome, but he snores worse than Grandpa (Love you Grandpa) and it keep me up all night.  I have to throw pillows at him after a few hours because I can't take it anymore.  So, yeah, I'm really tired as a result;(  But I keep plodding along!

Elder Ballard's talk on Saturday got me really pumped up.  He talked about constantly finding and talking to everyone you see.  He said "There are a million non-members in Utah, and another million in-actives in the State as well."  So, yeah, we have a lot of work to do.  Out here we do a lot of reactivation when we don't have non-members to teach.  There are quite a few less actives who we are teaching, but most of them are really cool and we're having success in getting them out to church.  One of the Brothers we are working with however, just got kicked out of his house by his wife, I feel really bad, he's a great guy.

Anyway, the work is going great!  I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Elder Walker

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Week 11 - Eh Week

Hi everyone!

This week wasn't the best.  We had most of our lessons cancel and nobody was home when we would stop by.  We just got really worn down and tired and the work definitely slowed down.  But we decided yesterday morning that we would make this week a good one, and create success.  So we went out and worked super hard and before lunchtime, we had taught 3 lessons and set up a lesson for tomorrow with a new person that we found.  By the end of the day we had 5 lessons, the same amount that we had all of last week.  So I have a strong testimony of working hard and creating your own success.  If a lesson cancels, you go and find two more people to teach.  Oh, and Elder Robinson says hi....sorry, I'm at the YSA building with the rest of the zone.

Anyway, we are planning on having a crazy good week, shooting for 20 lessons, and I think we can hit it.  So wish us luck!  I hope everything is going well back home, I've been praying for the ward and for everyone back home to have missionary experiences.  Sorry I didn't have a lot to say this week, I just wasn't too proud of our dismal performance, but I will have a better report next week.  Just remember that even if things seem to be going totally against you and you seem down on your luck, work even harder, Satan tries to drag you down to keep you from having success in what you are trying to accomplish, don't let him.

Have a good week guys, I love you all and I'd love to hear from you.  Thanks for all your prayers!

Elder Walker

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Week 10 - Guidance of the Spirit

This week has been a great testimony builder!  It started out great.  We had a fantastic zone conference, during which we were taught an in depth history lesson explaining the Great Apostasy and the Restoration in great detail.  The point behind it was to give us a better understanding and more knowledge, so that we could then take it and teach simply.  The better we understand it, the simpler we can teach it.  I loved it because I love History, and the Spirit was super strong, especially at the end.  The last thing that we did was have four companionships get up to the pulpit and teach the Restoration in less than 5 minutes.  It brought the spirit so much.  Every time I hear the first vision recited in a reverent manner, my eyes get watery and the spirit testifies super strong.  There is power in the restoration, and especially in the first vision.  A thing I've realized is that eloquence doesn't matter, as long as you are speaking and testifying of truth, the spirit can teach the person being taught.

The rest of the week was really tough though.  We had lesson after lesson cancel, and when we went to track down investigators who weren't responding to our calls and texts, they were never home.  We started to get a bit discouraged and we were beginning to just go through the motions.  That all changed yesterday though.

I was feeling down and wasn't happy with myself, so I decided to to read a document that our zone leaders asked us to read.  It's called the Ricciardi Letter.  I read that and my whole perspective changed.  I was so moved that I got down on my knees and prayed for strength, and apologized to Heavenly Father for slowing down and not being as diligent as I could have been.  I poured out all the feelings that had been rushing through  me over the past week, not sure if I would get an answer to my prayer.  But as I finished, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and comfort come over me, I felt the love of my Heavenly Father so strongly that I couldn't hold back my tears, no matter how hard I tried.  I knew that he was there and watching over me, and that he wanted me to get back up and go to work.  I got my companion and we started walking around the neighborhood we were in, talking to everyone we saw, knocking on doors that they referred to us.  I could feel the spirit with me, I had the courage to say things that normally I would have been too afraid to say.  As the evening rolled on with relatively no success, we eventually had to turn around and head back to our truck so we could make a dinner appointment.  As soon as we turned around, one of our potential investigators, Seph Ali, one of the sons of a family we have been visiting and helping, rolled up next to us in his Mom's minivan.  He is Muslim and up until that point he had not been interested in joining the church, but he told us about how he had signed up for seminary this year of his own accord and that he was loving it, even though he didn't understand some things.  I felt prompted then and there to ask him if he wanted to take the lessons.  He surprised me by saying of course, and he absolutely blew my socks off with his next comment.  He said that he wanted to learn from us, but that after he finished the lessons, he wanted to come out with us so that he could help us teach someone else.  I was blown away, this 16 year old kid had been such an arrogant, troubled child just a few weeks earlier, bagging on the church, and now he was asking to help us teach.  We of course said yes and set up an appointment for tomorrow with him.

After dinner, we were about to head back down the hill, when I had a prompting that we should go back and knock on the Auernig's door, one last time.  We had been trying to get a hold of them ever since I came out, they had never responded to texts or phone calls, and the past few days we had resorted to drop ins, with no success, I still hadn't met them.  The day before the stake president recommended that we drop them, but I had a really strong prompting to knock one more time.  He answered the door!  His wife is the non-member, and he is a convert to the church who investigated it for years before he joined.  We taught her the restoration and the spirit could be felt by everyone in the room.  They thanked us for the way that we taught the lesson, and that they hadn't had it explained so well in the whole time they have taken the lessons.  She wants to work towards baptism....And we were about the drop them.

I have a testimony that the Lord truly does lead and guide us through the spirit, as long as we trust in him and work diligently.  I now have a renewed vigor and fire, and I can't wait to help our investigators enter the waters of baptism.

I love you all and I hope you have a great week,
Elder Walker

Oh, we had a Zone hike today, and had a devotional on top of the mountain.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Week 9 - New Companion - Elder Nielsen

Elder Walker and Elder Nielsen

Hey Everybody, I hope everything back home is going well, especially with school starting up for a lot of you.  You'll have to let me know how college is.

Anyway, things are going pretty well on my end of the line.  I got a new companion, Elder Nielsen and we've been doing great work.  We managed to dig through a bunch of notes and found a huge list of potential investigators, which is exciting.  We're going to spend the week weeding out the good ones to establish a good teaching pool.  Our baptism on Saturday didn't happen, but it wasn't the investigator's fault!  The relatives who were supposed to perform the baptism never got back to his parents and so they weren't able to get it set up in time.  But Travin's mom is on it for this week, she'll make sure they get the message.

We got a new investigator for the YSA Stake, and she's super solid!  Her name is Chen Chi, she's from China and she was being taught by the USU Elders and had a baptismal date, but then she had to move to North Logan and so we were able to pick her up.  She's super solid, she even texted us and asked where she was supposed to go to church.  We told her where and she showed up Sunday and we were able to visit with her a bit.  We are going to meet with her again on Sunday and hopefully put her on date.  We were also able to get hold of the Unbaptized list for the stake and we found out that there are 8 unbaptized 9-year olds.  We're going to find them this week and see if they want to get baptized.

Anyway, I miss you guys.  Keep up the good work back home and keep the faith.  I would love some stories of things that have been happening recently.

Love you all,
Elder Walker

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Week 8 - First Transfer

This week was kind of hectic.  Along with our baptism not going through, it was also the last week of the transfer, and we didn't know for most of the week if Elder Wible was going to leave or not.  Well, Saturday he got the call that he was going to go ZL and so that wasn't fun news for me.  Not only that but we've had another set of Elders in our apartment because theirs is infested with Hobo spiders and we were being nice.  But now with Elder Wible and Elder Clark going ZL, and Elder Greenwood going trainer, I'm going to have to send Elder Greenwood and his son somewhere else.  It's gotten us out of our routine and we can't afford to drive them into their area everyday.

I'm staying, as you probably guessed.  My step-father will be Elder Nielsen, I think he's from the south somewhere.  I'll try to find out tomorrow.  We've been trying to have a lot of fun during our last week together though.  We showed up to district leader training in half pros, wearing shorts instead of slacks but still rocking the shirt, tie, and coat.  Needless to say we won the high priesting competition.  I'll send a picture.

We should definitely have a baptism for sure this week though.  Our nine-year old, Travin, is all set to go.  So I'll have my first baptism then.

I've been really tired, I can't fall asleep, so last night I started taking sleeping pills again, and that seemed to help.  I woke up twice this morning and I only fell asleep once.  I got up and went into the bathroom to get ready and all of a sudden I woke up on the floor and my head was hurting really bad.  I was really confused and the other Elders were calling from the bedroom because they heard a loud crash..... I guess I passed out somehow.... That's never happened before.  The Elders said I was super pale and they insisted on giving me a blessing.  I felt a lot better afterwards.  I'm fine no worries, just thought I'd testify of the power of the priesthood.  I also got to give Sister Cox a blessing of comfort, it was a great opportunity.

We did service one day and Elder Wible and Elder Clark caught grasshoppers during break and ate them.  I have video footage that I will send.

Anyway, I love you all, I want to hear from all of you :)

I'll leave you with my testimony, that this is the true church, and our Savior Jesus Christ stands at its head.  I know that through the power of the restored priesthood, we can receive many blessings and revelation if we ask for it.  I encourage you all to develop a strong foundation in Christ, and if you already have one, make it stronger.  We are all working toward perfection, we won't get there in this life, but let's all try to see how close we can get.  I love this work and I encourage you to help the missionaries back home.

Elder Walker

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Week 7 - Keeping Busy With the Work

Hellooooooooo Everybody!

I am absolutely stuffed, we bought way too much food before our Zone hangout.  We're at the singles building playing pool, ping pong, and basketball.  This week has gone really well, although for some reason I'm having trouble remembering specific events.  We have about 3 people on date for this month, and Mark is going to be baptized on Saturday as long as everything goes well, hopefully he can withstand the adversary for a week, and then things will go more smoothly.

We were eating lunch yesterday, and a lady was wheeled up in a wheel chair by her daughter so that we could cheer her up.  Her husband had died on Wednesday, so we just talked with her about the plan of Salvation and managed to get her to stop crying.  She thanked us and when her daughter came back she gave us a smile and they left.

Things have been going awesome though, we have been teaching a lot of lessons and it's been great, I believe we led our zone this week.  I am enjoying myself a lot, and I appreciate all the emails I have received, it's been really nice hearing from home.

I'd just like to leave you all with my testimony, that I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Christ's true church upon the earth today.  I know that Christ's atonement is real, and that through him, we can all be cleansed from sin and return to live with our Heavenly Father.  I encourage you all to focus more on the spirit in your lives, and to listen to him, he will not lead you astray.  I know that as we work to develop our spiritual in-tune-ness? that we will all see our lives improve and we will be able to handle any trials that we are given.

I love you all, keep Oregon strong!

Elder Walker

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Week 6 - Greetings From Smithfield

This week went well.  We were able to meet up with the parents of one of our nine year old investigators who's date was set for this week.  Apparently he's still solid and wanting to get baptized, but they might not do it this week, just because they need to get family contacted ahead of time and they need more time to get ready.  So, it may still happen on Saturday, but it will likely get pushed to the 29th , which will happen for sure.

We have another investigator who apparently is all ready to be baptized, he just needs to meet with us once or twice, but the parents have canceled the past 3 weeks lessons, and it's been really frustrating, because he could have been baptized weeks ago.  We also have a few more investigators but I won't go into that.

I hope everything is going good back home, I'm still loving it out here.  My companion and I have a new hobby.  Lip Syncing.  We now have six fantastic videos, which include Let It Go, a Lion King song, Tron Legacy, Wise Man Built His House Upon a Rock, and a few others.  Oh, our last one we did was a duet between Anna and Elsa, it was mighty fine.  Don't worry, we don't waste time, we make them on the way to appointments, so there will probably be a lot more, but I think I'll send a flash drive to my mom containing the sensitive film that can be used at her discretion.

We went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders last night, so I was up in Preston.  One of the people we bumped into was an inactive man who was very friendly, and informed us that he had fallen away because of baptisms for the dead.  He started talking about Indian burial grounds and how we need to respect the dead, and he started on a 666 tangent, and lots more interesting ideas that he had, that we politely listened to for a bit.  Before he started talking however, he said "Hold on, let me grab a beer", and went back inside.  Luckily, the house we visited beforehand had given us cartons of chocolate milk, the juice pouch style with bendy straws, so we prepped those, and when he came back out we said we'd join him, so we popped in our straws and started sipping away while he drank his beer. That made him laugh.

I had to speak twice on Sunday, and I only had about an hour that morning to prepare one talk, and after that one, we raced over to another building where we had 15 minutes to prep the next one before sacrament meeting started.  It was hectic.  Oh, and President Price wants me to play my violin in General Priesthood Meeting this Sunday.  Still trying to find an arrangement.  (Note for mother, a book or two of violin solo arrangements would be awesome if you ever get a chance to stop by a music store).  Hopefully I will be able to buy some today if I can find a place.

Anyway, I love you all, hope you guys are safe and have a great week!

Elder Walker

Went on exchanges with Elder Greenwood (at the Benson's)

Week 5 - Interesting Week

Hello Everyone!
This week was pretty interesting.  My first surprise happened when Elder Wible was called up and asked to attend a Mission Leader Council, which is weird because normally only the Zone Leaders and APs go to that.  While he was there I went on exchanges with Hyde Park, and we had a good time. When my companion showed up to get me, he was like "Dude, I totally met your mom".  Well, we joke about each other's mothers all the time so I just assumed he was kidding.  He was like, "No Elder, look in the back".  I looked and saw my violin and I was like, "What the freak, when did this happen." Well, apparently I had missed my mom and Ainsley by about an hour....  But he airdropped me the pictures so I'll send them with the email.

Today we got to go to the temple as a zone, and I was able to receive a lot of answers to things that I have been praying about.  We will get to go quarterly which is exciting!

Anyway, the work is going good!  I miss you all and I'll let you know when the baptisms happen.

He met my mom

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Week 4 - Smithfield Utah

Hey everyone!  My second week went super fast, I'm loving it here.  The people are amazing, and we now have so many people that we are teaching, that our week is almost totally booked, which is nice, but exhausting.  Wednesday I get to do my first exchange, and then the day after the Zone Leaders also want to do an exchange so I'll have to make sure I know my area well enough to be effective without Elder Wible.  I'm excited though.

We finally started having dinner appointments!  All the families that we've visited have the most adorable kids, and they are super hyper.  I've figured out how to entertain them though.  I was really bored one day, and while Elder Wible was entering numbers, I clicked on the photo booth app, and took a bunch of pictures that distorted my face.  Well, it turns out that kids love that,  and I've been able to win them over quite easily.  Mwahahahahaha!

I'm still trying to get used to covering 17 wards.  There are too many to attend all of them each Sunday, so we try to squeeze in at least 4 sacraments in each week, just so we can try and get to most of them at least once each month.  I feel like quite the sinner having to take sacrament four times haha.  The mail service here sucks, surprisingly.  I get my letters in a reasonable amount of time, but I still haven't seen the package that my parents sent to me over a week ago.... So....  Yeah.  I hope it didn't get lost.

I hope everything is going well back home, I miss you guys!  I've heard that there has been some sad news in the ward recently, so please let the families that have been affected know that I love them and that they are in my prayers.  I pray for all of you each night too, so don't go thinking that you're left out.

Anyway, I can read any emails I get throughout the week, so feel free to send them, I really enjoy hearing from you all.  My P-days are Tuesdays, so I write a lot of my drafts Monday night and then send them in the morning.

Love you guys!
Elder Walker

Making a list of investigators and their respective wards, to see which wards we need to work on  (My idea BTW) :)
Weekly Planning
 Sleepy Elder Wible
First Dinner Appointment

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Week 3 - First Companion - Elder Wible

Hey everyone!  Just wanted to let you all know that the mission is going great, I'm loving it so far. I'm serving in the Smithfield South Stake, as well as the Smithfield YSA, so me and my companion cover 17 wards.  As a result, the work is going great here, we already have two baptismal commitments set and we are expecting to get 3 or 4 more this week.

So far, we haven't had a single dinner appointment, our Ward mission leaders are dropping the ball. But we survive, many of the local restaurants around here serve missionaries for free, or members sitting at other tables will pick up the bill.  Benefits of serving in Utah I guess.

I've also found out that missionaries are treated like rock stars here.  You just walk down the street and almost every car will honk at you and the family inside will wave excitedly.  We get mobbed by groups of kids all the time and so we teach them tricks and ask them which of their friends still need to be baptized.  They give great referrals.  My first day here I was tracting at USU with a temporary companion and we got mobbed by a group of EFY girls who said it was their goal to take a selfie with the Elders, so we stopped and took a few.

On Saturday we got to be a part of the parade in Hyde Park.  Everyone in Cache Valley comes and lines the street while we missionaries run down the sides of the street in the pouring rain, going crazy and high fiving everyone.  I'm pretty sure I managed to get the whole town, hopefully nobody video taped me, I was very energetic.  But yeah, it was awesome, everyone loves us here, it takes a while to get used to it.

So my trainer is pretty awesome, or should I say crazy.   He has a ton of energy and he is hilarious. His name is Elder Wible, like the Bible, and he is my father.  Surprise!  He's also from Oregon!  He lives in Portland, in West Lynn.  Anyway, we have a lot of fun, and we've had a lot of good luck so far.  He had someone videotape my birth, but I think it's too long to send in an email.  We got the Spanish missionaries truck because they were putting way too many miles on it, so a few of the pictures I send are selfies of "Linda" our Nissan Frontier.  I think today we're going to look for a big stuffed animal to Velcro to the bed.  We also blast Disney music while we drive, and rock versions of Primary songs and we sing along, quite loudly...

But anyway, I miss you all, I hope everything is going great back home. I'll attach some photos real quick.  I took some more on my camera that I'll send to my mom and she can put it on her blog thingy.

Elder Walker

P.S.  I almost forgot!  I went to a Muslim barbecue on Saturday as well.  It was awesome!  Quite a few interesting discussions though.

This is a Hippopotamus Sharpe, I've never seen one before.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Week 3 - Off to Logan! - Nathan Meets His Mission President

Nathan met his mission president and his wife, President and Sister Allred.

Week 2 - MTC Days

I head out tomorrow at five in the morning, I may be able to borrow someone's cell phone on the front runner to call you.  We've been given permission.  I am doing laundry right now, so when I actually go to email I will send you pictures.

My companion's name is Elder Peart, he's nice.  He's from Texas.  The first lesson we taught to a role play investigator was great.  That happened the second day we were here, but the teacher tracked us down today and said that it was the best lesson that she's ever been in, and said that she just had to let us know before we left.

The MTC has been great, but I'm glad that I finally get to leave this place.  I met someone who knows my mission president.

I've had the opportunity to give a few blessings withing the two weeks that I've been here and we are all going to give each other blessings tonight as we prepare to separate our district tomorrow morning.

I'll send pictures in a bit!

Love you guys!