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

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Week 30 - Week of Many Miracles

This week was great!

First off, the mission has about 99 people on date for this month and so we did a zone chain fast where each companionship fasted for those people on date.  One companionship each day.  So here is my list of miracles:

1.  We were able to meet people that we have been trying to contact for weeks and were able to set up a stake splits schedule.

2.  When we went to the guy we were trying to talk to, his less active granddaughter and her husband pulled up.  We set up splits with the guy and then he asked us to give them an impromptu lesson on temple marriage.  We asked them if they thought it was important and they said yes.  So I asked if they went to church, they said no.  I asked if they read scriptures, they said no.  I asked if they prayed together, they said no.  I explained to them that these are the ways that we receive revelation, and in order to develop a relationship with our Heavenly Father, we need to be doing those things.  She was pregnant as well, so I asked how they felt about being parents.  They said excited but they were scared and unsure about the future.  I explained that this is a point in life where they really need Heavenly Father's help, and that they needed to decide now, whether or not they were going to involve God in their parenting.  I explained that they really need to be able to receive revelation for their child, so that he can grow up in safety and that they can be guided as they raise their child.  I was able to bear testimony of the importance of parenthood, the importance of having God in their companionship.  We all started to tear up and we committed them to start reading, praying, and to go to church the next day.  They don't live in our area, so I asked the grandpa to follow up on the commitment.  Well, the next day he came up to us in church and he was tearing up, he said they went to church, for the first time in years.

3.  Norman came to church!  All three hours.  He was fellowshipped super awesome.  We were fasting for him that day, and all the talks that were given seemed to be directed right at him, it was amazing.  Even though there were lots of crying kids, he was totally glued to the speakers.  Sunday school we talked about Lehi's dream, we had just taught Norman that a few lessons before.  During Elders quorum, they asked if he played basketball and they invited him to bring his son to the pinewood derby and they gave him a car kit to help his son make one.  It was awesome and he loved church!

4.  We found a new investigator on Saturday.  He wants to be married in the temple with his girlfriend.  His name is Tyler.  We definitely need to get him some gospel knowledge and a testimony though, he doesn't have that yet, but that's our goal.

5.  We found another new investigator yesterday.  Her name is Joanne Humble.  She is the sweetest lady ever.  She is 53 and she has gone through a lot.  She moved out here from New York to be near her son Rob, who we know very well.  He is a convert to the church.  She lost her son to a heroine overdose a year ago, and her Husband to a painkiller overdose a year before that.  She has such an overwhelming faith in Christ though, and I believe the gospel will really help her.  We brought her cookies yesterday and ended up talking with her for over an hour.  She has been through so much.  She loves me though!  She says that she sees a special aura around me and that made me fell happy.  So yeah, we are teaching her the first lesson on Friday, probably going to start with the plan of Salvation.

Anyway, lots more miracles, but those are my favorites :)  I just want to bear my testimony that I know that the gospel is true.  I know that it is for everyone, and it is not just a lifestyle.  We all chose this plan in the pre-existance, we are just trying to help people remember.  I invite you all to continue to strengthen your foundation in our savior Jesus Christ and I say these things in his name, amen.

Elder Walker

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Week 29 - Spirit Wars: Return of the Investigator

Story time:

Not so long ago, on a Sunday not so far away (last Sunday), Elder Skywalker and Elder Bib Fortuna were attending the 3rd of many Sarlac meetings in the Cantina, filling up on spirit.  After hearing a few speeches from the trade congregation the meeting ended and Elders Skywalker and Fortuna slipped quietly into the ventilation shaft.  They were walking towards the exit, hoping to make it to yet another meeting, when they were spotted by Dr. Draxler a representative for the Galactic Utahan Senate (Only on Wednesdays and Thursdays).  They began talking of an investigator Elder Skywalker had taught during his first transfer in Space Canyon.  Mario the Mustifarian.  The investigator spoken of in the prophecy, the one who would put off the natural man, and be baptized by someone holding the proper priesthood authority, which we know binds all things.  But sadly he had been cast out of his girlfriend's home, Angelicar, into Brigham City, a small section of the Planet City Coruscant.  They thought he had been lost forever, doomed to live below his privileges for his mortal life.  But Dr. Draxler brought the Elders great news.  By some miracle, Angelicar was now accepting Mario back, and they were to be married within the month, thus fulfilling the law Chastity and bringing balance to his life, to the point where he may enter the waters of baptism.

The end

Anyway, sorry about the story, I've just been going through Star Wars withdrawals, with everyone talking about the new movie and all that.  Figured I might as well have some fun.

So, in all seriousness, yes, Mario is coming back!!....After he gets out of jail!!!...But hey, another investigator, we won't complain!

We are really excited to start teaching him again.  It will be really good for him, he was already changing his life so much when he left and now he will be able to officially start fresh really soon.

This week went really well, Mario is coming back, and Norman is progressing quite nicely.  He should be coming to Church this Sunday!  We have been doing Book of Mormon readings with him, in-between the normal lessons and we were reading in 2 Nephi 2.  After we finished the chapter, we asked him what he had gotten out of it, and he was like "That's awesome!  Guys, I've never realized that before.  All the other churches make it sound like Adam and Eve screwed up and made life awful for the rest of us, but I never thought about it all being part of the plan.  This all makes sense now."  So we explained that the Book of Mormon is a purer translation, and that it contains the same gospel as the Bible, just in its fullness, and that instances like these are examples of that.  So things are going really well with Norman :)

I'd like to hear my testimony of the Book of Mormon.  I know that as we read it, and we sincerely ponder it in our hearts and pray to know the truth, we will be able to find the answer to any question that we might ask.  I know that reading the Book of Mormon brings and invites the spirit of prophecy and that we may be able to help find direction for our families in the troubled times we now live in.  I challenge each of you to make daily scripture study a priority in your lives, and I promise that you be able to see a change occur in your hearts.  I say this in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Walker


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Week 28 - Temple Trip

Well, today we got to go to the temple!  It was great, I love having the opportunity to go as a missionary every 3 months.  It was a nice reminder and refresher of where we are hoping to get our investigators someday.  The temple is a great blessing in all of our lives and I hope it is a priority for all of you.  There is no greater work than hastening the salvation of those who have passed on from this mortal life, alongside bringing those who still have the opportunity to learn here on this earth, to make covenants with their Heavenly Father.  Sister Dewey had us do some of her family names today, so it was extra special to us on this occasion.

In more temporal news, we finally have a ride to the gym again! Yay!  We go to the rec center and play raquetball.  So that has made our mornings a lot better.

Norman News:

We have a lesson with Norman tonight.  He had to reschedule last week's lesson, so there was no lesson in between last email and this one.  So we will be putting him on date tonight.  We will also hopefully be having meetings in between lessons now where we will be able to read scriptures and answer his questions, that way we can actually get through the lessons.  Also, it will provide for more daily contact.  Things with Norman are going great however, and we are excited to be teaching him.

We are also finally able to start working with the youth now, and we will be doing some missionary combined activities as well as starting splits with the priests.  So we are excited about doing all of that.

So, things are going great over here.  I want you all to know that I have a testimony of this gospel and of my Savior Jesus Christ.  I know that he is the only way by which we can be saved and I am so grateful to be a part of this work.  I love you all and I pray for each of you every night.  I hope you have a great week.

Elder Walker

'Borrowed' my companion's ipad :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Week 27 - New Year

Hey everyone, sorry I missed last week, things got busy.  I hope all is going well back home.

Tonight we have a lesson with Norman, this will be our fifth one with him.  We were supposed to teach him the gospel of Jesus Christ last week, but he actually read a lot of the Book of Mormon (I wish investigators would do that more often) so he had lots of questions about the tree of life.  So we explained it to him and then likened it to the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that we could jump right into it tonight.  Anyway, this week he will finally be able to go to Church and it will be great for him.  His first week will be Ward Conference haha.  So yeah, we are excited for him, he is wanting to work towards baptism.  We will put him on date tonight.

A few days ago, we found a new investigator named Kevin.  We had run into him a few months ago when he first moved in, and he said he would call us when he was ready.  We kept going back but he was never home.  We decided to try again a few days ago and he happened to be there.  He said he had wanted to call us, but his phone broke a week after he had talked to us and gotten our number.  So now we are trying to set up a lesson with him, he's super nice and I think he'll be receptive.

Anyway, I was thinking a lot about the Atonement this week and how people can change.  The story that popped up in my mind was the story of Zeezom in the Book of Mormon.

3 And also Zeezrom lay sick at Sidom, with a burning fever, which was caused by the great tribulations of his mind on account of his wickedness, for he supposed that Alma and Amulek were no more; and he supposed they had been slain because of his iniquity.  And this great sin, and his many other sins, did harrow up his mind until it did become exceedingly sore, having no deliverance; therefore he began to be scorched with a burning heat.

4 Now, when he heard that Alma and Amulek were in the land of Sidom, his heart began to take courage; and he sent a message immediately unto them, desiring them to come unto him.

5 And it came to pass that they went immediately, obeying the message which he had sent unto them; and they went in unto the house unto Zeezrom; and they found him upon his bed, sick, being very low with a burning fever; and his mind also was exceedingly sore because of his iniquities; and when he saw them he stretched forth his hand, and besought them that they would heal him.

6  And it came to pass that Alma said unto him, taking him by the hand:  Believest thou in the power of Christ unto salvation?

7  And he answered and said:  Yea, I believe all the words that thou hast taught.

8  And Alma said:  If thou believest in the redemption of Christ thou canst be healed.

9  And he said:  Yea, I believe according to thy words.

10  And then Alma cried unto the Lord, saying:  O Lord our God, have mercy on this man, and heal him according to his faith which is in Christ.

11  And when Alma had said these words, Zeezrom leaped upon his feet, and began to walk; and this was done to the great astonishment of all the people;  and the knowledge of this went forth throughout all the land of Sidom.

12  And Alma baptized Zeezrom unto the Lord; and he began from that time forth to preach unto the people.

Now, if you remember the story, Zeezrom was a pretty bad guy.  Amulek, while contending with him, actually referred to him as a "child of hell".  He tried everything he could to prove Alma and Amulek wrong and to turn the hearts of the people away from the word of God.  As a result all the believers in Ammoniha were cast into the fire and martyred in front of Alma and Amulek.  I remember reading this story and thinking, this guy is awful and I hope he gets what is coming to him.  But after reading about his healing I received a burning confirmation that the Atonement of our Lord and Savior jesus Christ is not just for the righteous, it is also, and even more so, for those who have done much wrong in their lives.  Christ loved all of us so much, that he took upon us all of our sins, so that we could all have access to that gift of the Atonement.  We should not hate those who have done us wrong, or those we believe are awful people.  If we truly want to develop that pure love of Christ, and become like him, we need to love everyone, and be willing to help them change.  See them not as they are, but who they have the potential to become.  Love them, help them, and fight for them.

Zeezrom changed from a wicked man into a mighty missionary.  Alma took him with him to cry repentance unto the Zoramites.  Such a change can occur in anybody, through the Atonement of Christ.

I invite all of you to start viewing those around you differently.  See them as your brothers and sisters, and ask yourself "What can I do to help them be what they can be?"  I promise you that as you do this, you will begin to change who YOU are, and you will be one step closer to becoming like our redeemer.

25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

I testify that the atonement is real.  Our Savior Jesus Christ lives, and is the head of this church.  he guides his church through loving prophets that are on the earth today.  I know, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that if we follow its teachings, we will not go astray.  I love this gospel, and I know that all of you love it too.  May we all keep the faith and stand strong in our testimonies.  We will be blessed as we do so, and I say this in the name of Jesus christ, amen.

I love you all :)  Have a great week!
Elder Walker