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

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