Monday, November 21, 2016

Last Letter

Dearest Mother!

I can't believe this is going to be the last weekly missionary email that I will send to you! It has seriously gone by so fast, but yet somehow this has felt like my whole life.

This last week was pretty great! We had a Zone Conference last Friday and we were taught so much! It was strange though because normally when we receive trainings there is a lot that I think about on how to not only improve as a missionary, but who I can help in the upcoming time. This time it was so strange because the only people that I thought about were the ones that I know at home. For a few minutes it didn't feel like I was a missionary, but that I was a normal person again. It did make me super happy though because it was proof to me that the spirituality that I have been feeling here on my mission doesn't have to change or lessen when I get home. There is still a lot of things that I can do to not only work on but keep doing so that I can be as happy at home as I have been here:) We had interviews the next day with President Grayson, and it was so strange because there wasn't too many interview questions due to the fact that I was going to see him again in a week for my departing interview. Mostly he just asked me how I was feeling about going home, and if I had a lot of things planned for this week. It was so strange to think about. Honestly it still doesn't feel like I am going home. As far as my mind is working right now, I will be back at this computer next week emailing y'all all over again, but in reality I will be on a plane headed to California!! It is so mind blowing.
I have loved my mission so much! I am so glad for the opportunity to serve the Lord in the South Western half of Georgia! The Lord really knows what He is doing when He put me here and when He sent me to the people who have become lifelong friends to me. I love how detailed His plan is, and how nothing is ever a coincidence or a mistake. The tender mercies that He gives are so real! And He only does it because He loves us. He loves us so much that He makes sure that you get a phone call right when you need it, or a cool breeze, or a smile from a stranger. This message that we share is AMAZING!! Didn't you know that HE LIVES? Don't you know that HE LOVES YOU? Don't you know that MIRACLES HAVE NOT CEASED! He is speaking to a living prophet, just like He did in the Old Testament. Just like He did in the Book of Mormon. GOD IS REAL. And He is so aware of all of us. Even if you don't think He is, He is. How grateful I am to know that! I love being a missionary!

Be safe y'all and I will see you in a week!!
Love you lots!
Sister Monica Walker

Monday, November 14, 2016

Short email

So Dearest Madre,

This email is going to be really short...... I'm sorry. Today We are going to Callaway Gardens. A member couple is taking my companion and I before I go home. And since it is an all day thing I won't really have time to email today, but I just wanted to let you know how much I love you! And that I am super excited to see yall in two weeks!! Be safe and remember to pray everyday and read all the time:) Also fun side note, I hit 18 months on a mission yesterday!!!!! that is so crazy to me. Anyway, I really do have to go now.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Close To Returning

Dearest Mother,

Is it bad that the closer I get to the end of this transfer, the less I want to tell you because I know that I will be able to tell you myself when I see you again? Not that that means that I won't be emailing you.. I'm pretty sure if I didn't email you would worry forever and a day until I did, or you saw me.
This week was a pretty emotional week. There were some people that I had to say goodbye to because they are leaving to go out of town and don't get back until after I leave. These are people that I have already said goodbye to once. I[It] was right though way back when my trainer went home. It is a lot easier to say goodbye to people at the end of my mission then at the beginning because at least the people at the end of my mission I can call/text/message right as soon as I get home, whereas those that I knew from the very beginning of my mission might not even remember who I am. Or it will take them a moment. Yesterday was my very last Fast Sunday on my mission. A tradition of the missionaries here, and one that I have always tried to do, is that if you think you are leaving the area, or you are leaving, you bear your testimony to the ward about Christ and His restored gospel. My companion nudged me at one point and asked me if I was going up. Then she poked me and said ti was the Spirit telling me to go up. Well the Spirit already was telling me to go up, and so up I went. I tried to keep it simple and honest, and I tried not to mention anything about how long I had been serving or when I was going home. I left the podium and I started crying. My companion had kleenex ready for me when I came back to sit down. It was really awesome though especially, because we even had an investigator there that day. This is the investigator that has been in and out of the hospital, and fell asleep on us the one time, and to whom we sang the wrong song. She loves church. When I came back down, she had to stand up so I could sit down, and she gave me a hug and told me that she loved me and that she was super grateful to have me as "one of her girls". She [w]as crying too.. and then of course that made me cry even more. It really did make my week though because every single person that she spoke to she said how thankful she was the the sisters keep teaching her and inviting her to church. How at home and how peaceful she feels when she walks into the doors of church, and even how she tells everyone about us! She already is trying to get all her friends to come over to her house when we come by, or to get them to let us come by their house so we can teach and sing to them too, since we sound like "heavenly angels sent by God to give her peace".

I really will miss Georgia when I leave. There isn't much else I want to say this week, but just that I love all of you! Keep being the wonderful people that you are, and keep putting that trust where it belongs! (in God in case you didn't know)

Love you lots!!
Sister Monica Walker

PS. I only have two more emails after this one.. say what?

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Dearest Madre,

First order of business.. Next week I hope to email a little sooner then normal, because a member is taking my companion and I out to lunch and to a place called Callaway Gardens next Monday. Since it is a little further away, emailing will be cut short a little, or else we will email a little bit earlier so that we can get actual emails to family and friends. But this is just a forewarning in case my email is really short next week. Its not because I don't love you. In fact I love you lots and lots:):) there just isn't enough hours in the day.

This last week all inclusive was pretty fun. We were trying to pass on an investigator to the Rivercrest Sister's last week, and so we went to a baptism in that ward and then went out to lunch with them, and had a wonderful time! But then the appointment fell through. It was really sad.. That appointment was strange though because it looked like the girl we were trying to teach had moved. Her truck wasn't there, and instead there was a car, there was a dog that was there that hadn't been there before, and there was a basket full of empty alcohol bottles even though we know she doesn't drink. And her phone the one we had texted her on the night before was disconnected.. It was so strange because this person wasn't one that would just up and leave without telling us, and she wouldn't lead us on like that at all.. IT made me little sad though. That night however we got a text from a random number telling us that it was that particular investigator and she was sorry she missed us but she had just gotten a new phone because her old one broke. She also told us her truck was replaced with a car because her truck broke and she was dog sitting. She felt bad about all the confusion, but we were just grateful that she hadn't run away like we feared. That was pretty awesome.

Oh! and then on Sunday we were standing at the door greeting people, and I kept nudging my companion because we should go sit down. She told em we needed to wait a little longer. Well we waited for a few more people and I gestured again for us to sit. She leaned around the corner of the door and said there is someone who doesn't look familiar, who looks new and said we will wait for her to come in and then we will come in. So she comes in. We introduce ourselves. She introduces herself. She looks lost. We tell her she can sit wherever she wants. We then glance at the Elders to see if it was either of their investigator. None of them knew who she was. We felt prompted to go sit by her, but when we noticed that there wasn't a whole lot of space left over there we asked her if she wanted to some sit by us. She did. Come to find out she was not a member, this was her first time coming to church, and it also turns out that she was the referral that one of the Bishopric members had given us that we had been trying to see for about a week now. It was really cool to just see her walk through the doors. She couldn't stay much longer afterwards, but she said we could come by and see her sometime this week. I love blessings from the Lord. They really are super awesome.

I love you lots family!! And all my friends too! :)
Be happy this week and remember to look for the Lord's hand in all that you do everyday:):):):)
Sister Monica Walker

Monday, October 24, 2016

Singing to the Tune of the Holy Ghost

Dearest Mother,

Due to unplanned service this morning, I don't have too much time on emailing today, so my email will probably be on a little bit of the shorter side. There is just way too many things to do today!! It's kind of exciting though:) I learned this week the importance of having the Spirit with you all the time, and the power that the Spirit has in helping people come closer to Christ.

So... We are teaching an older lady who has a lot of health issues. She at one point had a surgery on her heart, but then recently her heart started leaking again (because I am not a doctor I know know the terminology so I might be accidentally making it sound worse then what it is) and so she has been back and forth to the hospital for high blood pressure. Her ankles are extremely swollen and so the doctors also gave her some medicine for that. We went and visited her this last week, and we were lucky to have caught her because she had just gotten back from the hospital that day. She was pretty sleep from the drugs they gave her, but she told us to come inside and talk to her anyway. We decided to teach her about the Word of Wisdom because of previous issues that she had with it, and we knew that if she'd commit to follow it that she would feel a lot better. We had also been teaching that to a lot of people because of the realization that all of us can work on it. But I will get to that part later. Anyway, we were in the middle of sharing a part of it, when she fell asleep on us. I stopped talking mid sentence, and my companion and I looked at each other. We tried a few times to wake her up by just speaking a little louder, but that didn't work. About a minute later she woke up. She felt so bad about it, but we told her it was ok, and that we would come back another time. We always end with a hymn though because she loves to hear us sing. So we decided to sing "Did You Think to Pray?" For whatever reason, my companion and I BOTH IN SYNC began to sing the words but to a completely different tune. We are looking at the little hymn book I carry with me, and we are confused as to why the notes don't match what we sing. But we go with it. We somehow transition to the actually song about halfway through, and we only do one verse. So we ended singing the right hymn. We have absolutely no idea what just happened, and we have no idea how we could not only be off, but off together that we were having a really hard time keeping our faces straight. The whole lesson just made us giggle. I've never had anyone fall asleep on me before when I was teaching them. The lady after we finished was crying and she told us we sounded like angels. She wanted us to record it so she could listen to us sing all the day long. Considering we sang the wrong song, and it isn't really supposed to work well that was funny to us. Well we said a prayer, and then we head out to leave. When we get to the car, we bust out laughing. We figured out the tune that we were using was "Israel, Israel, God is calling" and we tried to reproduce what we did and failed miserably.. I'm not sure why we ended up doing what we did, but I do know that the Spirit definitely guided both of our voices. There was no other way we could have done that, and had the Spirit touch her so strongly. Plus the fact that both of us did it and we weren't ever singing different notes was pretty amazing too. And then you add to it that neither of us have heard that tune in a few weeks and it is pretty amazing that that was the one that came out of both of our mouths. I love the way the Spirit works. :)

So the thing about the Word of Wisdom that we both realized. First we heard that President Monson spoke about the Word of Wisdom in the Priesthood session of conference. There was also quite a bit of attention given to it in the other sessions as well. So rather then say that we are perfect at the Word of Wisdom, we dug a little deeper into it. Realization #1-The Word of Wisdom is more then just Thou Shalt Nots.. There is more to it then don't do drugs, or drink tea, coffee, or alcohol. There are lots of thou shalts. The easiest way to break it down is by saying to eat healthy, get adequate sleep, and exercise daily. Too many people focus so much on the negative things of what they shouldn't be doing that they ignore the things that we should be doing. And then people get discouraged when they can't seem to stop whatever it is that God wants them to stop, and so they give up. Especially when they see other people who seem to be living it perfectly, and even though we shouldn't, they compare themselves to them. Realization #2-ALL OF US have something we could work on in the Word of Wisdom. For example, me. I hate exercising, but the Word of Wisdom says to exercise daily. So that's what I need to do. Some people have trouble with eating healthy. Eating healthy means not so much fatty foods and sugar, but more grains and fruits and veggies. Some people, like me, will either over sleep or not sleep enough. Any of those three things are important and are part of the Word of Wisdom. So we decided to teach it to everyone, and help all of them understand that there is always somewhere that we can improve. Its pretty awesome sometimes when you realize that there is so much more for us to learn. I love learning!

Love you all!! Be safe:)
-Sister Monica Walker

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Testimony: Never too little, Never too small

Dearest Mother,

So its interesting how things work out sometimes.. I will of course keep Grandma (and Grandpa but specifically Grandma) in my prayers. I did however think about them all this morning, and the first thing that I did when I got on today was send them an email about how much I love and appreciate them. And then I read your email. I love the way the Spirit works sometimes:)

Patiently is usually the best way to answer questions that people have about the church. As I am sure you faced as well coming on a mission, there are a lot of people with a lot of question. Not all of them are nice. Most of the not so nice ones are only trying to get a rise out of us as missionaries and argue with us. And then when that happens, the Spirit will not be there. After all it does not stay with contention. I think that was the best response that you could have given to them, even if you physically couldn't be as strong as normal. I imagine it is very similar to the way the Quorum of the 12 and the First Presidency feels every time they get up to speak, especially those that are more advanced in age. There is a power to the Lord using us in our weaknesses. I'm sure the younger man was impressed with you even if he decided not to agree with you. I always am impressed with people's commitments when they express their beliefs here in the south. As long as they aren't trying to tear my beliefs down, I love hearing about their own. I wonder what they thought when you sat down? I wonder if they felt the power in your voice, the testimony that you had when you bore your testimony to them? I'm sure that even if they weren't in a position to hear it, you did exactly what Heavenly Father wanted you to do. I can't help but think of Abinadi. How sad it is that he died thinking that no one heeded him. Little did he know that one priest, one of the company of his accusers heard and listened, and repented. Look at the magnitude of people Abinadi was able to affect by his act? You would think that by the miracles and the signs that were shown to the people that more would have been affected by Abinadi, and maybe they were and we don't have that record, but among the rulers of that group of people, her only affected one, but that one affected so many others! No effort to further the Lord's work ever goes unused or wasted. Every small gift of a testimony, every action, every word, is recorded. Everything is used. Whether to plant seeds or to harvest, each have a part in the conversion. You have an affect in mine, and through mine, my companions, my friends, my investigators, the members here. It is never too little. It is never too small. I wish we could sometimes see the big picture so that we could understand the full scope of the decisions that we have and will make, but alas, that is a part of this life in mortality. We will never understand exactly how our choices will affect others while we are still living them out. Prophetic counsel is always a wise thing to listen to. Especially since it will always help you in ways that you would never know. They really do know what we need to hear. The Lord is clever to be helping us from all sides.
That's pretty smart to bribe Robert to stop completely.. Was it really that scary with all of us? I would have liked the whole bribery thing too. I promise I am better at driving now.. Granted we have monitors hooked up to the car, and I still get yelled at occasionally, but 98% of the time its due to incorrect speed limits in the tiwi, or ones that are really annoying, like the fact that our apartment complex has a speed limit of 5 miles an hour and there is a big hill to get up to it. That one gets me when I drive up it. MY companion always gets that one too. 

Love you lots Mother!! You are in my prayers all the time as well:):)

Sister Monica Walker

Monday, October 10, 2016

MY testimony of the gospel

To My Favorite Mother in the Whole Wide World:)

Actually there really wasn't anything that happened here because of the hurricane. The missionaries that were in the Savannah and Augusta areas were evacuated to Macon, but there we didn't really see any affects aside from it being a little windy. It was cloudy in the sky but hardly any rain. I love rainstorms here, and I was a little disappointed we didn't get one, but it is ok though. We were safe here:) Funny/cute story about the storm. So everyone was talking about the storm, and everyone was saying that it would be a really big one this time (as opposed to the last one that we had. We were at Dollar Tree trying to get a present for someone's baby shower, when we were outside writing on the card. A mom and her young son and daughter walked out. They happened to be talking about the hurricane with the cashier, and so the little boy walks outside singing "Hurricane Matthew, Hurricane Matthew.. Mom? I love Hurricane Matthew. Can we go see it?" Which was cute by itself, but then we heard the mom say-"Watch out Matthew there's a car!" Haha This little boys name was Matthew, and he thought the hurricane was named after him.. It reminds me of a little girl who thought everyone that was at Great America on her 5th birthday was there for her 5th birthday. Because obviously the world revolves around her. :) (Its true though.. My world does revolve around me:))

Isn't it amazing the little things that we do that can become such great things? Mom you impress me so much with everything that you do! Too often I see people in the church and in my life who express a belief in something, and then never do anything about it. Granted, I am far from being perfect at that too (prime example being my love of letters, but my terrible response time), but it amazes me to know that there are people out there who are working every day to help other people come closer to Christ in their every day life. Not that they have to be name tag wearing missionaries who go knock on people's doors, but just who take the opportunities that life gives them to share what they believe. I am so grateful for your example to me because I think you are awesome at sharing your testimony everyday with everyone, and then when the opportunity arises, you speak to them too:) I want to be like that when I get home and when my kids are on missions too.. And who knows about that guy! You planted a seed, perhaps it will grow later in this man's life!

Yay for Robert!! that is so cool that he is driving now! He is probably super happy. Wait a second... He is seriously the only one of us that will never have to drive the van! You should have kept it for him to drive to school. I did it! Granted I understand why he wouldn't want to, but still.. He is a lucky kid.

Josh will do well in that field. I'm proud of him:)

I am so excited to go to college with Ben! Even if my classes are undergrad classes, and he is in graduate school.. It will be so much fun!

I AM SO EXCITED TO MEET HENRY!! and to see my cute little Prince Charming too:) I love my nephews:):):):) <3

You should let me know if that is a hereditary thing being tired. Cause I might get it too.. I am amazed at how much can be accomplished on such little sleep when it is being done in the service of the Lord. Don't worry though about my sleeping. It is getting better, it has just been a lot of late nights. The downside to having such a great companion is that is it hard to stop talking when it is time to go to sleep:)

I'm excited to see Alex and BJ too:):) I miss spending time with my sister and brother-in-law. they are pretty legit:)

DADDY I LOVE YOU! He is the best Dad in the whole wide world. So that means since you are the best mom and he is the best dad, y'all did a good thing getting married. Now you both are my parents:) You had the best child ever, so obviously I had to have the best parents, and the best siblings too;) Basically I'm telling all of you that I love you and wouldn't trade you for anything.

I don't have too much time left, but because I know you wanted a testimony I will try to finish with just a quick one.

First and foremost, this is MY testimony of the gospel. Not my Moms, not my Dads, not anyone's but mine. I have worked very hard to get it, and it isn't perfect yet, but it is a work in progress:) I absolutely love the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I love the sacrifices that are required of me, even though it is hard in the moment to give, I know that it is all worth it after. Everything that I do I want to be for my Heavenly Father. I want to see all my family and friends with me with Them in the Celestial Kingdom. I know that everyone can get there if they really want it. It is an individual choice and not a group decision. I know the Savior has given each of us responsibilities to help nurture and support each other as we grow, and I am so thankful for each of them! I know that Joseph Smith Jr. is a prophet, that he began the Restoration of the fullness of Christ's gospel, and I know that Thomas S. Monson is the Lord's prophet today. I know that following the teachings of the Savior found in the Bible and the Book of Mormon brings a glorious change to anyone who is willing. He never will force the change on anyone, but how wonderfully glorious it is to see it happen in your own life and then watch it happen in others. I know prayers are answered everyday. Mine are answered every minute. He is there. He is watching. He loves me. He loves you. I love you. I am a witness of His divinity! In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

I love you all.
-Sister Monica Walker

PS. Consider this- what is the difference between a witness and a testimony? Which do I have? <-This was a question that came to me during General Conference. I thought it was a really good one to make me think. Enjoy!!