Monday, December 28, 2015

The Affect of Simple Things We Do

Dearest Mother:)

Oh how much I loved seeing all of you on Christmas last week!! It was so awesome to be able to see all of my family. I really did love seeing Charles walk, and I know he has been doing so for a long time, which is partly why it made me cry, and is still making me cry every time I see it, because the first time he walked was the day I entered into the MTC. So I really never have seen it. And then it made me think of all the things that I am missing, but then I remember all the awesome things I get to see here and I am happy again. I am certainly super thankful for being able to serve the Lord in a manner that will help others and myself grow. But I always appreciate pictures so that I can kinda see what life is like for y'all while I'm gone:) Those are the things I cherish the most on my mission. that and my scriptures (which I lost the Bible I was studying in at the end of last transfer and can't find it anywhere..:( ) its all good though, because I still have my other nicer bible that we got before I left:)

Something I was talking to a less active about, that I never really realized until I came on my mission, is the affect of the simple things we do every day in our lives. It's interesting to me that there are a lot of people that I come in contact with that think I am just a wellspring of advice and gospel knowledge. I am so often reminded how little I know, and it scares me sometimes how much trust people put into what I say especially as I am aware of the faults I have. At the same time, I know that I do have a lot of knowledge that my Heavenly Father has blessed me with so that I can further bless those around me. I might have told you this already, but I feel like I need to share it again anyway. 

This member has been struggling with her testimony of the gospel, especially concerning the modern day prophets. As we were talking to her, I felt prompted to tell her of an interesting situation that I had found myself in in my teenage years. All throughout my earlier teen years, I had heard warnings of people who would say things like in the moment when you feel like you are doing great in your testimony and you don't need to pray, read, or go to church, that's when you are the most vulnerable and your testimony will be the weakest. I found myself in that situation during my later teen years, and my personal reading of the scriptures (ironically enough) ground to a halt. My prayers became less and less frequent and I found myself sad for reasons I didn't really know. I of course still went to seminary every morning, church every Sunday and mutual/institute etc, but spiritually I was lacking. It really wasn't until my mission, and I really began to study the scriptures myself and not just read them like I kinda wanted to do that I realized how long it had been since I had done something like that for myself. Last transfer was really hard for my companion and I due to some crazy circumstances in the area, and there were many nights I spent with tears streaming down my face and my head bowed in humble but earnest prayer. I have learned that life gets immensely harder when I forget to pray or read my scriptures. I have since I left on my mission, completed the Book of Mormon once (well technically twice when I read the standard works), the entire standard works once, the mission library twice, and years and years worth of Ensigns. I have learned that even a few moments of reading my scriptures and praying about it, makes me happier every singly day, despite the things that tumble around me in my life.

Basically I told this member that it was interesting that when we forget to do the simple things like read or pray or go to church, our world begins to fracture, and pretty soon it will tumble all around us, and we are left to pick up the pieces. I then asked her if she had been reading or praying, and she said that no she hadn't. I encouraged her to read, and then promised her that if she would that she would being to see many blessing in her life. Since then she has been coming to church nearly every single week, and her husband and her have even begun to reconcile and are trying to establish their relationship again that had been lost so many years prior.

Blessings come when we do what the Lord has asked of us. Even when it seems impossible sometimes, the Lord will always provide a way for us. I know that the Lord is there watching over us every moment of every day, and we may not be able to see Him, or even feel His influence, but He is there waiting for us to turn to Him. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much, despite the faults we may see in ourselves. He gives us such great gifts and all He asks in return is to follow His Son. It's not going to be the easiest thing because it was in no way easy for our Savior. His sacrifice was to make it possible for us to bear it, not to make it a smooth road. Life will not be easy. But it will be possible, and it most definitely will be worth it. I cannot wait until the moment I get to enter into the presence of my Eternal Father in Heaven and I can give Him a hug. Meanwhile, I have a work to do, as do all of us, and I can only work to do my best so that I can feel worthy to be in His presence. I love this gospel! I can't say it enough. I have learned so much from everyone I come in contact with. My friends at home, my family, my companions, and even the random people I talk to on the street. I love my Savior and all that He has done for me. Christmastime is awesome because I can talk to everyone about how much I love my Savior and they will all listen and tell me the same. Super awesome.

I am giving a training at my District Meeting this week on how we can establish personal relationships with each member of the Godhead. Should be interesting. I will tell you next week how it goes, but meanwhile, I challenge all of you to think of how you'd develop a relationship with each member of the Godhead, and then email me or write me about what your thoughts were. I'd love to hear your thoughts, even if I will have already given the training:)

Love you so much!

Sister Monica Walker

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas this Week

Dearest Mother!!

Christmas is this week!! Yay! That means I get to Skype with y'all and talk to you face to face. You will probably all sound so different from what I remember, I mean other than mom, I haven't heard any of your voices in 7 or so months. And mom's I only got to hear because a member called her while I was there.. So excited for Christmas! Also someone should measure Robert before then so I can know how tall he is now. In the pictures y'all send me it seems like he has grown about a foot, so now my head probably doesn't even reach his shoulder..

Just so you know, I am creating a list of things to talk to you about on Friday but I really don't think I will run out of things to say just because you know how I am and talking, and it will have been so long since I talked to any of your that I will probably have a million and a half things to say. Also just so you know, we can talk to a max time of 40 mins. The white handbook says 30-40 mins and President Cottle has asked us to keep as close to it as possible. So hopefully y'all can talk fast..

As I told you last week, we had transfers this week! It has been super crazy trying to get everything in order, and I realized after my new companion got here how under prepared I was to be her trainer. There are so many things that I am not the best at doing, and it is amazing to me how much the Lord has helped me and how much the Lord will help me as I strive to fulfill my calling as His representative. 

My new companion's name is Sister Maher. She is super awesome!! She is the 2nd of 5 children and she loves cats. Like a lot. Every time we see a cat she always gets so excited, whether its a stray or somebodies pet. Super funny but also really sweet. She is the first of my companions that has been significantly older than me since my trainer, and it is a little strange since I am supposed to be helping her understand what a mission is going to be like, and what is expected of her and of myself. Granted it's not like she is that much older than me, she is 20 while I am 19, but the rest of my companions have been within a month of me, so it is a little strange to be there to help her. She already knows a lot though of what to expect because of her friends at home who are return missionaries. She says she is really shy and that she doesn't talk a lot, but really she talks a lot but not usually at the first meeting. Something I have learned here is that the people who say that they are shy end up being the ones who are the loudest and who talk the most. Haha it's great fun though.

The next two transfers for us will be a little strange because of all the shifting President Cottle will have to do. First because of the no-fly time around Christmas, last transfer was only 5 weeks, and this one will be 7, but then also because of the English missionaries now being in the MTC for 3 weeks instead of two, the following transfer will also be a 7 week transfer due to the lengthening times of their stay in the MTC. So crazy stuff, which means that all of us will be on our missions one week longer than we thought. Which means I won't be home for Thanksgiving, but I will get home the following week.. One week after my Ministerial Certificate expires. Funny story about that, so the purpose of those is to show to people when they think that we don't have the legal right to be missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But because of the extra week that is going on to all the new missionaries for the next while, all of them expire a week before we go home. I have not yet ever been asked to produce it, but I am just waiting for the moment when I have less than a week left and somebody asks me for it, but I can't show it to them because it is expired.. Haha. Haven't quite figured out how I will get past that one yet though, but I am sure it will all work out.

Oh another story you might like. So yesterday in church was the Christmas program in Sacrament Meeting. A week earlier, the person putting this on had asked the missionaries to sing at it, and one of the other missionaries to play it. but then.. Transfers! and half the missionaries left, one of them being the one who was supposed to play. whoops. Anyway she just had us sing Away in a Manger instead of the other song, and asked someone else to play it for us. So pretty much with absolutely no practice, we went up and sang. I thought we did pretty well considering there was no practice involved. Later that day we were visiting with our 96 year old investigator Willie Mae, and he cousin, who was a member was with us, and told her that we had sung at church. Of course, our investigator wanted us to sing to her since we had done in in church and she missed it, it was only fair she got to hear it too.. Sister Maher and I looked at each other, kind of shocked at the request, well demand really, so we began to sing. When we finished, she said that it was so beautiful and she had felt something special as we sang. Knowing that she goes to sleep earlier, I knew we wouldn't be able to go caroling to her when we were with our district Christmas Eve night, so I asked her if Sister Maher and I could come stop by on Christmas and sing some carols to her then. She said of course we can! So before we come skype our families, we are going to go over to her home and sing some Christmas carols to her. Should be fun! Also its nice because Sister Maher is a good singer so we can do spontaneous things like that and not be too scared to sing with each other. (Expect for the fact that she is shy when first meeting with people, and that was the first time she met with them.) Haha it was fun though:) I will probably do it again. The spirit it brought was wonderful. And it made for a good end to the lesson we had just taught. Especially in honor of the Christmas season:)

Love you all and Still super excited to talk to you on Friday!!
Sister Monica Walker

Your favorite person in the whole wide world!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Time

First, Tell Robert I said Happy Birthday!! I can't believe he will be 16! Crazy life..

Second, Transfers are tomorrow!! I am not going to be transferred, which means I will be here for the next 7 weeks, but I am training a new missionary:) Which is going to be fun.. It also means though that Sister Dayton is going to have to leave, and neither of us are very happy about that. We have definitely grown pretty close in the last couple of weeks due to the craziness of this area, and so it is hard for us to separate, but I know that the Lord knows what is best, and I will do what He has asked me to do, and I will do my best to do so cheerfully and with a willing heart, even when it is really hard. On the bright side, I will be training again, but this time I will be training a sister who just came out from the MTC! So that is super exciting:) I don't really know who it is yet, but it will be super awesome when I get to meet them.

Sister Pilimai and I went on exchanges together this last week:) That was awesome!
We had a Christmas Party for the ward last Saturday night, and I have to say it was one of the best activities for missionary work I have seen since coming out on my mission! There were so many people who brought their non-member friends and brought them over to see us. And there were a bunch of recent converts and less active people who went to it. Super cool. And then a lot of them came to church the next day too. Miracles abounding. 'Tis the Season I guess.. 

This weeks letter is going to be a little shorter than normal just because Sister Dayton wants to go to base to say goodbye to some people and that is going to take us some time to get there, so I don't have as much time today as I would like.. But all is well, and I am super excited for this week, and for seeing all of the friends I have made in the different areas again. Transfers are fun, at least if you take off the part where your companion has to leave. But it's all good:)

Oh, also because Sister Dayton had never been to early morning seminary before, since she is from Utah, and they had release time, we went to early morning seminary this morning. Guess what time it was at? 6:20!! So not as early as I was used to, but still pretty early since it was across Columbus and we had to leave at 6 and we still got there late.. but it was really fun, and I wish we could do it everyday, but that would be extremely hard as a missionary just because we are busy until basically 10:30 and so that would mean we would get from about 6-7 hours of sleep every night, and that would only happen if we were able to fall asleep right away.. So definitely not an everyday thing, but it will probably be something that we do every once in a while:)

Life is good, I love you all! 
Love your favorite person in the whole world!
Sister Monica Walker

PS if you haven't yet, go to and watch the videos on it. They are all pretty awesome, but especially the one #asaviorisborn Its so cute!!!! I've watched it a million times and it still isn't old.. So go watch it even if you already have seen it, and then share it everywhere you go!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Season

Dearest Mother,
I received said package on Saturday. I am pretty sure that with the increase of missionaries in the world, that the church is keeping the post office up and running with the amount of mail and packages that are sent out every week for their missionaries. Especially during Christmas time. I wonder how many packages that are sent around Christmas time are for missionaries. It would be an interesting statistic. My guess is probably around half. haha

So I went on exchanges twice this week since we have so many missionaries that we have to exchange with in a 5 week period (well really 3 week since we didn't want to do it the 1st or 2nd week). The first one I left on and I was about 20 mins away from home, just across the river into Alabama in a city called Phenix City. I was actually with a sister who was a sister in my previous Zone. This would be about the 5th time I have been with her since she got on her mission. Super crazy, but it was a lot of fun. She is one of the nicest people you will ever meet, and she is always so uplifting and spiritual that it makes it great to be around her. While I was there, they had a meeting with the missionaries all in their district, and they also had a funeral since on of the missionaries is being "killed" (going home) next week. Turns out one of the Elders knows how to play the bagpipes, so he did and it was one of the coolest things ever. He also showed us how to actually do it. It is a lot harder than it looks, but also at the same time, easier than I thought. Its basically an instrument to be a one man band.. haha One of the other Elder's in his training pretended to be an old man from the south telling his grandkids a story about how to improve their lives. That was pretty funny too, and it was surprisingly still very spiritual. He shared the story "The Room" by Brian Keith Moore about the man who had the dream about a room full of small index card files that detailed his life, and how each and every card was signed by him, the good and the bad. And then Christ came in and signed over everything with His blood, and what that meant for him. I really love that story, and I didn't know what it was called, so it was awesome that I was able to find it so I can have a copy of it to share with people. Y'all should read it. It really is a great inspirational story.

We went later on exchanges with the Sisters in Pine Mountain but this time I stayed in Columbus and Sister Dayton went to Pine Mountain. I really do love going on exchanges so that I can meet all these new sisters that I might not have been able to meet before. There are so many awesome sisters that I get to meet as a Sister Training Leader. I have definitely been blessed in that respect. 

Oh! For Dad! There is a new couple in my ward (yesterday was their first day, and they got married about a week ago) who is in the army, but it turns out that the guy, Brother Nelson, is from Morgan, Utah, and he knows Uncle Mark and all of them super well! Crazy how small the world is. Speaking of this couple, Sister Nelson asked us yesterday what our plans were for Christmas, and we told her we didn't have any, so pretty much we are going to go to their house for Christmas dinner and to Skype home. Don't know exactly the plans yet, we will find out more later, but they are super awesome to let us go there out of the blue like that. Especially since they literally just got married. Crazy life.

Well I have lots I need to go do today so I have to get off now, but know that I love you all!

 Sister Walker

Monday, November 30, 2015


Dearest Mother,

It has been a wonderful week this week! We didn't end up having a Japanese Thanksgiving, which was both a relief and a disappointment. It was pretty delicious though. The Japanese sister that made us the food is an excellent cook and so all the food she gave us was really good, and then she sent us home with more, since our "dinner" was at 1. Funny story about that. We had called her earlier that week to ask her what time she wanted us there, so she said 3, that morning, she texted us and asked us if it would be ok if we came at 1:30, and then 20 mins later asked if we could come by at 1 instead, because she wanted us to meet her daughter, and she was going to leave at 2 to go to her boyfriends parents house for another Thanksgiving. So we agreed to be there at 1 to eat our "dinner". At 12:30 she texted us that the food was ready and that we could go over now. So we started over, and then at 12:40 she asks us where we were, that they were all waiting for us, and at 12:50 she sounded frantic as she asked us how far we were (her house is about 20 mins away from ours...) So pretty much she had wanted us there at 12:30 when she asked us to be there at 1.. even though the original time was 3. Crazy funny. It all worked out well though:)
These are some of the tanks on base that we wanted to get pictures by really quick after church.

So the baptism was of a recruit on base. He is going through training right now, and so they aren't allowed off base, so there is a branch for all the military recruits if they want to go to it or not, but since each of them have to have a battle buddy at all times (kinda like companions) there are a lot of non-members that come too, so the Senior couple teach Restoration to them every week, and if they want to learn more, the missionaries will be there to teach the rest of the lessons. This is what happened to that guy who got baptized, and now his wife is even getting the discussions back where ever she is. Super awesome! and the other guy is his battle buddy, and he wants to get baptized too, but he has only had the first lesson. Turns out he lives in Warner Robins though, which is super cool because that means that I was able to help him find the church over there so he knows where to go (because he asked us if we knew where it was) and I also know the missionaries that are in that area, so I knew who to call and what number to call to let them know that he was going to be going there in a few weeks for Christmas, and that he wants to be baptized while he is there for Christmas. Super awesome! I love going on base, and I really want to do it again, but it would mean that Sister Dayton and I don't have any investigators who go to church, because we would both have to go, as opposed to the other Elders who can go on splits with each other so one of them is at church to welcome their investigators. So its a bit of a struggle but we are trying to figure out a way for us to work this out because we want to continue to go to base if at all possible:) Because it's so cool!

Well I got to go, but I love you!

-Sister Monica Walker
The stain glass is a really awesome picture that kinda reminds me of a modern Captain Moroni. Its in the non-denomination church building where we had the baptism on base. Sorry its fuzzy, but UI thought it was cool and wanted to send it home.
The army men lining up are waiting to go into a Catholic mass, but I thought it was interesting because there hasn't been a whole lot of actual military stuff that we have seen, and this was pretty militaristic so we took a picture.

Monday, November 23, 2015


Dearest Mother:)

I love you! This week has been a very interesting week.. but there have definitely been a lot of blessings too:)

Last Friday night we had a ward activity entitled "Gratitude and Faith in the Lord." It's purpose was to invite members and nonmembers to come join in thankfulness for the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives. In preparation for it, my companion and I called every single number in the directory, and discovered to our sadness that about 60% of them were disconnected, and that in some cases because there was now no number there was no way to contact them. But on the bright side, we were able to invite a ton of people to this event! There were about 100 people at this event, and it turned out really well considering the missionaries pretty much set the whole thing up. It was pretty awesome though that so many members and nonmembers came to the activity! It made me thankful for a lot of the things in life that I didn't realize I should be thankful for, like genealogy, primary kids singing (even if it is off key), and members ability to dig out random decorations for the tables so it looked like a fall activity instead of a bare looking missionary activity.. haha It was good though, and of course there were lots of desserts since it was a potluck dessert activity and people really like food:)

President Cottle told us to make sure we were expressing our thanks in our letters home this week since as y'all are aware, Thanksgiving is on Thursday. (FYI people here have the whole week off of school for Thanksgiving. From pre-k all the way through college. Its pretty interesting..)

So. I am thankful for cool breezes in the summertime, and still air in the winter. I am thankful for sunlight and the energy it gives everything and everyone. I am thankful for frost because it makes my companion happy when she misses snow. I am thankful for my mission president and his wife and the love they have specifically for me. I am thankful for letters in the mail. I am thankful for pictures. I am thankful for the mailman (who knows us by name and by sight and always has our mail ready for us if we ask him:)). I am thankful for missionary planners without which I'd be so lost as a missionary. I am thankful for Sister Dayton who pushes me to reach further than the goals I have already made. I am thankful for the other missionaries to provide support when needed. I am thankful for phones in which we can keep in contact with investigators. I am thankful for maps so I can know where everything and everyone is. I am thankful for a GPS that works. I am thankful for the pretty colors on trees. I am thankful for cars so that I don't have to walk everywhere. I am thankful for military members who get us MREs (meals ready to eat aka chemically heated food found in a package like astronaut food), army pants, and tank missiles as souvenirs. I am thankful for computers so that we can email home. I am thankful for church sites in which non-members can learn the truth about our religion. I am thankful for my family and the support they give me:) I am thankful for the love of the members. I am thankful for the prayers said in our behalf. I am thankful for modern technology that allows for the gospel to be spread everywhere. I am thankful for the army and all they do to protect us. I am thankful for my life because of the many many blessing that I have received in the circumstances I grew up in. I am thankful for the gospel and the light it has given me. I am thankful for Daddy's job so that he could help provide for me to serve a mission. I am thankful for mi Madre who tells me about all the spiritual impressions she has so that I can grow up strong with the Spirit. I am thankful for the stories my grandparents tell me. I am thankful for the Holy Ghost that gives me understanding when I am lacking. I am thankful for Christ and the sacrifice He gave for me so that I can live with my Heavenly Father again. I am thankful for the concept of eternal marriages and families so that I can have a hope even with death in the picture. I am thankful for my mission.

I love it here! It is hard, but worth it. I love each and every one of you! Life is good. Never forget it, and you will always find it.


Sister Walker

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Studying the Scriptures


I love you! It is kinda funny that you send the letter from mom's email even though it is you that is emailing. It has been a super crazy week here. Last week were transfers, and while neither I nor my companion moved, we have two new sets of Sisters in our Zone, a new set of English Elders in our District (they live a building down from us), and one week less in this transfer than in any other transfer due to Christmas. So now I and Sister Dayton are Sister Training Leaders over 4 other sets of Sister Missionaries, and two of them opened up new areas while also training missionaries that both just got off the airplane to come to Georgia.. So those are going to be some crazy exchanges. Especially since we only have 5 weeks to do exchanges with the Sisters, and we have 4 to go on. The new Elders in our ward obviously didn't know anything about the area, and since they were also opening up new areas then they didn't have anything to do except try to get some investigators. Fortunately, the Spanish Elders in the ward as well as us have a bunch of people that we were able to give them to help them get started with a teaching pool. They have been coming over to our apartment a lot to do planning since they don't have a map yet, and I just finished making a very detailed map of our area. (I'm super proud of this map. It took me 5 weeks to just make the map part.) We are still putting people on it, but it has definitely been a blessing because then we were able to more effectively plan for both us and the Elders without it getting to crazy and tracting the same areas.. Life is good. But super crazy.

It was also a really hard transfer because Sister Dayton had made some really good friends in the last district we had, and many of them left. It wasn't very easy for her, because she doesn't like being the one that is left, but we have been managing fine, and Sister Dayton is still a super awesome missionary:) One thing that she did do though, before Transfers was have one of the Elders who left give her a blessing for comfort. As you well know me being the daughter of my mother, cried the whole time the blessing was given because I knew how hard it was for her. It was one of the sweetest blessings I had heard in a while, and it really touched me because of the comfort and peace that was offered to her. It also made me miss a bit being at home where you could give me a blessing when I need it. The priesthood is the same, no matter who holds it, but there is definitely something different and more special when it is your own father giving you a blessing from your Heavenly Father. 
I feel extremely blessed to have a father who has played such a big part in my life. There are so many families here who are missing a father in the home due to whatever circumstances, and it makes me feel really sad that they are missing out on such a wonderful relationship. My life at home was extremely blessed. I really did have no idea how much so until I got here and saw the consequences of so many broken families. I still don't even understand how much my life has been blessed because I haven't experienced fro myself what it is like to live without any of that stuff. All I know is that it would be an extremely hard trial to have to go through. 

On a different note, Thanksgiving will be interesting to have here, especially since we are going to have Thanksgiving with a lady who is from Japan. So she is going to feed us Japanese food for Thanksgiving. Definitely not what I was expecting. Also strange realization is that from now on, I only have one of every single holiday before I go home, so next Thanksgiving, I will be with y'all. Weird. I still can't believe that I have been on my mission for 6 months already. Super crazy. I hope you eat some wonderful pie for me:) idk if I will be eating any pie since we are eating Japanese food.. Who knows though? Maybe we will go to 2 Thanksgivings! That would be a lot of fun:)

Sorry to hear about the Heiner's car. But I am glad to hear that Sister Heiner is ok. I see that car here all the time, and I'm not sure how in the world people can afford it when the majority of the people live in trailer parks, but maybe I am just seeing the same car over and over all over Columbus.

Oh also, I never really realized how much of a sacrifice it was for you to be driving an hr too and from work every week day for as long as I can remember. I guess I always thought that was normal, because that is always what you did. But there are people here that will spend the night in hotels rather than drive the 2 hrs everyday to commute from work, so I wanted to tell you thank you for all the hard work and sacrifice you gave for me and my siblings. Thank you also for all the preparation for life you gave (like what to do in case of a fire, kidnapping, death, if the prophet calls us to Jackson County, etc haha) as well as for all the mornings you wanted us to be up for scripture reading as a family before you left for work. I always took that as the normal thing people did, and nobody else that I have talked to on my mission has ever even thought about doing things like that. It really helped me be more prepared for my life, spiritually, and physically. 

As you well know, I am a super fast reader, and I retain a lot of what I read. A few months ago, my mission president challenged us to read the Book of Mormon in 90 days highlighting all the Doctrine of Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy ghost, Endure to the End). I took my time with that and still managed to finish within 40 days. So I decided back in September that I wanted to challenge myself to read the entire Standard Works in 90 days, highlighting the righteousness and blessings one color, and the wickedness and curses with another. I am about 80 pages away from finishing the Old Testament, and about 30 pages away from finishing the Doctrine and Covenants. I'm halfway through the Book of Mormon, and I still have the whole Pearl of Great Price and New Testament to do. I also plan on reading the Bible Dictionary, because I have decided its pretty awesome, so I have all of that to do as well. So I still have a long way to go. However, my point in telling you all of this isn't to tell you how amazing your daughter is. The point in my telling you this, is to tell you how much I have come to really love the Book of Mormon. The whole Bible is filled with wickedness and abominations. God is trying to give these people the best and they are turning around and telling Him they don't want it, and would rather go ask for things from some fake idol they went and made themselves. And then they get punished for their pride and selfishness, and like many of us do, when we are reprimanded they will agree with whatever so that the punishment will stop, and then once they are blessed again, they turn back around, and the cycle continues. The Book of Mormon goes through the same cycle, but there is so much more hope! The power of the Atonement, and the Savior and repentance are all put into this positive light rather than a negative one as consequence of something bad. I have learned so much more how wonderful and great is the sacrifice that Christ gave for us is. My Bible is full of the color red with a couple of blue spots every once in a while. My Book of Mormon (and remember I am only halfway through it) is full of the color blue, with only a few red spots in it. The Doctrine of both is exactly the same. God is the same God no matter what you read about Him. The Message of the Book of Mormon though is one of hope, and peace, and everlasting joy! It is a message about the eternal nature of families when founded upon Christ's Church. It is a message of hope for those who have been stuck in darkness fro so long. It is a message of joy for those who think that the end of mortality is the end of life. It is a message of peace when the world gets crazier all around us! I love the Book of Mormon! I love my Savior! I know my Heavenly Father loves me! That is the message I have to share. God is Alive. His Son did die, but is living now! Because of Him, all will live.

Before I get off, I wanted to share a story that one of our recent converts told us. This man is in the army, and he has a great uncle who was Mormon, and had probably one of the hardest experiences I can ever imagine anyone going through. Since I don't know the name of the man whose story it is, I will make one up so you don't get confused.

John was in the army during WWII. After Japan bombed Hawaii, the emperor of Japan told his people that no one would be able to bomb them back because they were a 'promise people' and their God was fighting for them. So a call went out for volunteers only, who were going to go on a mission to Japan, to bomb parts of their country. The bombs that were dropped did very little damage, but the purpose wasn't to destroy anything, but rather to prove to the Japanese people that their Emperor's statement that they were impervious was incorrect. Basically it was to drop the morale of the Japanese people. Anyway, John was one of these volunteers. He and a bunch of other men flew over Japan, and dropped bombs on their ground. Unfortunately, John's airplane was hit, and it crashed into the ocean not far from the coast of Japan. 20 people survived that crash and were captured by the Japanese once they got to shore (since there wasn't anywhere else for them to go). They at that point became Prisoner's of War. Time goes by, and they are sent from camp to camp, tortured and beaten, and starved, and all manner of horrible things were done to them. Meanwhile back in the States, they received a report that their plane had crashed, but that there were 20 missing soldiers. As the time passed, and no one was able to located them, they were all declared as KIA. More time passes, and those soldiers are still subject to so much torture and all manner of things. Eventually, America gets a report that there are 5 American soldiers who are Prisoners of War in a certain camp, and they take all sorts of efforts to get these men back. They discover that these 5 men were all that were left of the 20 that were captured. John was one of them, and the only one who was still sane. Every other man that was rescued could no longer function in their lives, and had major PTSD. John was later asked in an interview what kept him sane while he was captured, and he told them it was because everyday he would read the Bible to the other men who were captured with him. Because of how much he read it, he was able to memorize it, and recite it whenever he was feeling especially down. He arrives home, only to find out that his wife had married another man, because they all thought he was dead, and his whole family didn't know how to respond to him anymore. The recent convert was telling us that he asked John once (when he was 10) if the Bible really was what got him through that whole experience. John told him no. And then John went inside and came out with a little blue book, and told his great nephew, "This is what got me through it." On the cover of the book were the words "The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ."

The power found in the covers of this book are real. The promises are true. I know it. With all the fervor of my soul I testify of it. Never forget it!
Love you all!

-Sister Monica Walker

Monday, November 9, 2015

Transfer Week (No, I'm Not Going Anywhere)

Dearest Mother,

This week has been pretty crazy. It is the last week of the transfer (and no I'm not getting transferred, and neither is my companion) and so it was filled with a lot of anxiety before we knew that we wouldn't be transferred. Our next transfer though is in 5 weeks instead of 6 so that people aren't getting transferred 3 days before Christmas. Likelihood is that either Sister Dayton or I will be transferred that transfer and that will be hard because it will be a week before Christmas. However I'm glad that I get at least one more transfer with Sister Dayton. She's pretty legit:)

This week had been pretty stressful though. On top of that and everything else that you are aware of, we were preparing one of our investigators, Danny for baptism, when we realized that he hadn't actually stopped drinking tea or coffee. Soooo after reiterated to him how important it was, he managed to find substitutes (such as hot chocolate and fruit juice) and he is still set to be baptized. It freaked us out for a minute though because we thought maybe he wasn't willing to stop, but what it was was that he didn't understand. Not understanding is really important, and apparently we didn't help him understand the importance well enough the first time around. We got it though so it all worked out in the end:) He is still on date and we are still so excited for him!

Yesterday we had probably one of the craziest things happen that I honestly didn't expect to happen. It sounds like a pretty scary story, but really it was a blessing that it happened the way it did. So this is what I told my mission president:
Yesterday about 7 minutes before the Sacrament Meeting started, one of our investigators had a seizure and collapsed on the pew. It was one of the scariest things Sister Dayton and I had ever experienced because one moment he was fine, and then the next we heard him scream and then fall down next to us and start shaking. We honestly thought he was going to die it was so bad. There were three brethren that rushed to his side to help him, all of whom were doctors, and one of whom was a trauma doctor. He was definitely blessed to have been at church when it happened, because he lives at home all alone, and he has no family, so if it had happened when he was home he wouldn't have been able to get the help he needed. The ambulance was called and he was taken to the hospital. Eventually we started sacrament meeting, even though we started a bit late. We went with the Elder Quorum President (who was one of the doctors that ran over to help him) after sacrament to go check on him at the hospital. He was doing a lot better than he had been, sans the fact that his blood pressure was through the roof (250/160). Its expected though that he should be fine. Sister Dayton and I are still shook up about it, but we are certainly grateful that it happened in a place where he could get help. Not only were there plenty of doctors to help him, but it were serious enough, there were plenty of worthy priesthood holders who could give him a blessing. This was the first seizure he had had in 40 years since he was 9 so it was definitely a surprise to him as well as everyone else. The miracles that God gives us are amazing. If we hadn't met him and had been teaching him, and had he not been coming to church as diligently as he was, he wouldn't have been in the position at that time and place to be helped. Who knows what would have happened then. I JUST LOVE GOD! So pretty much life is awesome:) and I feel really blessed:)
Yep. So crazy stuff. Definitely not something I want to happen again but it was a memory I will probably have for the rest of my life. It was also pretty cool though how for the rest of church, everyone is praying for him to get better. Everybody was so nice about it. Also random fact I learned. The pews in the front move. So another blessing about this was that we were sitting in the second to the front pew and they were able to move the bench far enough away to get the stretcher in front of him so he could get in it. Who knew?

Anyway love you all! And I hope and pray that all is well this week for you:)
Love your favorite child in the whole wide world!
-Sister Monica Walker

PS are we going to do Secret Santas this year? and if we are can you tell me who I have? Because I want to be a part of it too:)

PPS. Today we are saying goodbye to a lot of our district because one companionship is getting whitewashed, and one comp from every other companionship is getting transferred tomorrow. Except for me and my companion, we are staying here. Then later tonight we get to have dinner and FHE with a recent convert. Its pretty hilarious because this guy is one of the most sarcastic teddy bears you could ever meet.

PPPS. Yes I have been to both [Zaxby's and Waffle House], but luckily I live in an area that has a wide variety of restaurants available to me. Zaxby's is a lot like Chick-fil-a but the outside makes it look like a sit down restaurant. The Waffle House has some pretty good waffles, but looks super ghetto and is basically like one of those really old diners where you sit at the counter and they give you your food, but they are everywhere. There are probably more of those than McDonald's. Crazy. Also the Burger Kings here are ridiculously fancy. One of them is three stories and looks like a train station. One of them looks like a Draper house, and the rest of them are like insanely fancy places. Kinda crazy. [We usually go to] All sorts of places. My first transfer we went to Buffalo Wild Wings every week. Sometimes we go to Chick-Fil-A sometimes we go to Hibachi Buffet which is a Chinese buffet place, sometimes we go to Taco Bell, or a Mexican Restaurant, or a Thai restaurant, or pizza. Pretty much whatever we are in the mood for.

Monday, October 26, 2015


Mom!! This week has been great fun! I went to Auburn, Alabama this week for exchanges and it was kinda strange to be in a college town where I wasn't a college student. There are a lot of people there who are from Asia too, none of who even know who Jesus Christ is. One person we had taught told me that people in China are very jealous of Americans because of the freedom that they have to even know who God is. So many of them want to know God and His goodness, but aren't allowed to because of their government, or their situation. It made me kinda sad, but it also testified to me that we really do have Spirits who knew our Heavenly Father, because why else would these people who know nothing about God, desire to know Him? It makes me glad I am here so that I can be the instrument in the Lord's hand to help these people around us. There are so many people who need the gospel and they consciously don't even know that their Soul is screaming for help. 

I gave a talk yesterday in Sacrament Meeting. Brother Burgamy (counselor in the Bishopric) asked me to speak on "the reasons for and effects of modern revelation for the church as a whole and how this helps families and individuals stay closer to Christ." So pretty much he wrote my talk for me.. haha. Just kidding, but it was a really long subject he asked me to speak on. First thing I did of course was go to the Bible Dictionary and look up the word Revelation. (Because missionaries have limited resources this is what they go to a lot..) First thing I noticed is that Revelation is a word translated from the Greek word apocalypse which means to uncover or make known. Like the Apocalypse so many people are afraid of? I think at some point everybody has somehow made that word to mean something entirely different than what it is supposed to mean. This is why I think at least for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Christ's Second Coming isn't a scary thing. It reminds me of the story you used to tell me about Ben as a kid, and when he asked you once why we aren't praying for the Second Coming to come. I really do think we should all be doing that, and sure it has to get worse before it can get better, but how great and marvelous that better will be! And how much knowledge will be restored to us that has been lost through time!

Anyways sorry about that tangent, but I thought that was something interesting that I learned when I was reading it, even if it didn't really have anything to do with the talk I actually gave. The BD also talks about how divine revelation as being one of the grandest concepts and principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Revelation is dependent upon the person, and their faith. I remember in Joseph Smith-History when Joseph told that preacher about his vision of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, the preacher told him that there were no such things as visions and revelations in these days and that they had ceased with the apostles, and anything he thinks he saw came from the devil. I can testify that modern revelation has not ceased. We have a LIVING prophet, and his name is Thomas S. Monson. God wants His children to learn more. and there is never a point where I can say in this life that I have learned enough, and that I know everything. Even if I lived to be as old as Adam was, and I was a diligent seeker or truths and wisdom, I still wouldn't even know 1% of what God wants me to know. Like in 2 Nephi 28:30 the Lord gives us "line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little...for unto him that receiveth will I give more" He then warns us not to be proud in what we know and think that we know everything with the words "and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them it shall be taken away even that which they have." Scary thought. It makes me wish though that I had so much more time to study my scriptures instead of just the hour of personal study we are allotted each day. There is so much to learn in just the 2600 something pages of the standard works..

All is well here though, and I really do enjoy the work that we do here! Going on base is fun too, and we seem to do it a lot which is hard because of the limited miles that we have along with the distance that the base is from home. I'm going to send you some really cool pictures though of some stuff we just happened to see as we were driving around on base the other day.

Love you! And don't forget to find something to be happy about every single day!
-Sister Monica Walker

This sign was super funny so I wanted to take a picture by it 

I don't know if I sent these or not, so I am sending them again. This is our Zone helping the Red Cross install free smoke detectors in peoples homes. 

Also my companion decided to dress up at Walmart since we can't dress up on Halloween, so she saw this and immediately put it on.. Its about 2 ft too big for her.. haha
We played disk golf, and my companion accidentally hit one of the elders in the head. I happened to be taking a picture right at the moment when she realized it was going to hit his head. haha

Monday, October 19, 2015

Trial Run of Idaho Initiative

Silly Mom, my birthday countdown doesn't start for another 2 days.. So we are almost 6 months out. Crazy right? Because that means I have also almost been out 6 months on my mission. I remember when I came out thinking the people who had been here that long were pros at everything, but I still feel like I don't know anything. It's interesting. However I have discovered this great missionary time warp where the days are everlasting long, but the weeks are like days, and the months are like minutes. Its way weird. 

We are working very hard with the people that we have on base, but it is hard to talk to people there, because if somebody complains about our talking to them, then we get kicked off base and might not be allowed back on it. So there is no tracting allowed, and we either have to wait for referrals or go visit all the less active people who live there. That's hard too because of the nature of the military that is there is a less active person who leaves and doesn't tell anybody where he is going, then they get lost, and we don't have any way of tracking them down. We did find this one family though who has been there for 11 months and she said this was the first church visit she had had since she had gotten there. That made me kind of sad to hear because she had been here for some time, and apparently she did go to church sometimes, even if it wasn't all of the time. I was really glad though because we had a member with us who lives on base too, and she isn't that far from this other member, and she plans on going back and visiting with her more often now. The other member has only been in the states for 6 months and is originally from the Philippians. Her Husband is American and in the military and currently away somewhere else, and so she is really lonely because she doesn't know anyone and she is living in a foreign land. We plan on having her help us with all the members on base while she is here. She feeds us too which is awesome. (I love Philippine food. And Thai food. Members are awesome when they feed us that:))

Our mission is going to do a trial run of something they call the Idaho Initiative. Apparently in Idaho, there was a mission where they decided to push the work on part member families in their mission. The Bishops and Auxiliaries of all the different wards prayerfully selected a few families that were part members and referred the missionaries to them. The missionaries would then go over and teach the families, as well as the members going to visit them during other times. Because of this (there's more to it, but this is basically what it is) the missionaries were never tracting because they were receiving so many referrals from these families, and the average number of BAPTISMS from the REFERRALS from the part-member families was 6 PER FAMILY. That a crazy amount. Especially since on average I would say that about 1 in 20 referrals end up being baptized. That's a lot of baptisms and a lot of people who are coming to know their Savior:) Super duper excited!! We will see how it goes:)

Life is swell though! I really do love Sister Dayton, and its super funny how much our lives are connected, first through Sara, and then it also turns out that Grandpa knows her great Uncle. Or something like that. Anyway she really is an awesome individual, and she is desiring so much to learn more about the gospel and the teachings of Christ. We have a lot of gospel centered discussions even when we aren't discussing investigators or members or whomever we are teaching next. If anyone ever has a question about the gospel she always refers them to me because she thinks I will know the answer. (Sometime I do, but many times I don't. I'm still learning too:)) Haha its pretty funny though. She calls me Bruce R McConkie.. Haha it makes me laugh. I learn a lot from her too, like she is always a great example to me of her willingness to do things. She honestly makes it seem really easy to do so many different things because she is so willing to do them, even if those things are really hard. 

Well I love you! Super duper a lot! And I talk about you all the time in church because it seems like in the last little bit all the lessons we have had in Gospel principles are on families and parenthood and etc. So naturally I talk about you a lot and the effect you have on me in my life even now:)

Love, your favorite child,
Sister Monica Walker

PS Keep sending me all those spiritual thoughts you have, I love reading those:) That's usually what I talk about when I talk about you. Because you and I have had some great gospel discussions, and those are some of my most treasured memories:)

PSS: I did get a package in the mail from the YW in Modesto.. It made me cry because it was so cute! They sent me a Book of Mormon with all their testimonies written in the back. It was so sweet! I read them to my companion and she cried too.

What types of things do you like to receive as a missionary? Or that missionaries would like to receive in general?
I like to get letters honestly. I like knowing what is happening in peoples lives or what they learned recently about in their studies of the scriptures and what not. Really anything that shows that somebody is thinking about us. Pictures are awesome too. Whether its of my cute little nephew or my cute little brother:) (sans the fact he's not little). Most missionaries would rather have letters than a package, but I can't deny that it is fun to open up the package when you get it. It is almost like Christmas!

Monday, October 12, 2015

I love Georgia!

Dearest Mother,

I love Georgia!! And I love service! Last Saturday we went out with the Red Cross and went door to door installing free smoke detectors for those who didn't have smoke detectors, replacing old batteries for new ones if they did, and also telling lots of people how to be safe in case of a fire, or a tornado. They probably should have been telling us about how to be safe in case of a flood, but we didn't. No flood have happened here yet, and I don't think they are expected to yet, but I did here about South Carolina. One investigator was telling us that her mom came to stay with her for a little bit because she is afraid of the flooding that is occurring, and that many dams have broken up there because of it, which really isn't helping anything. On the bright side though, we are all safe where we are right now, and everybody is aware and looking out for anymore floods which they will then warn everyone else about.

I have decided I really like being able to go on base here. Sure its a hassle to have to go through security every single time we are visiting investigators or less active members, but its also fun to be able to say that I have been on a military base. Sister Dayton and I are considering getting 30 day passes though because every time we go on base we have to get a day pass, and that takes more time than if we were just to get a 30 day pass. I see the Lord's hand in my life every day though with some of these people. Because as military people, they get moved around a lot, so we have to check on some of the less active military members to make sure they are still there, and sometimes it will lead us to people we would not have been able to find other wise. Or it will help others be more involved and active in church when they weren't before. I am also learning a lot of military terms that I didn't know before, and I am getting to know a lot of what military people do on base, because we get fed a lot and each of them tell me a little bit (well the parts that they can tell me) and it is kinda cool to hear about because before I honestly couldn't really have told anyone anything about any military job because I didn't know anything.

There is a street called Walker here and we have 3 investigators on that street. Its my favorite street:) We went and tracted on it because I really wanted to see who would want to hear about the restored gospel from a lady whose last name matched that of the street that they lived on. Haha.

Well, I love you all, keep on Ponderizing! and don't forget we are trying to make that a new word that people use constantly:)

-Sister Monica Walker

Monday, October 5, 2015

General Conference, New Companion, New Area

I LOVE CONFERENCE! There are some really amazing things that I learned at conference, and it was really cool to be there as a missionary because I feel like so much of it had just greater impact on me than it had before. I saw the little boys holdings hands too and it made my heart melt. So cute!

So my new companion's name is Sister Dayton, and she is actually one of Sara Buckley's best friends! So we kinda know each other because we had met once when I went to someone's farewell. That was crazy! She is from Salt Lake City proper and her Great Uncle was actually Elder Perry so she cried though a good part of the conference because it was hard for her. But she is such a trooper and she is so willing and ready to learn about everything there is to know:) I'm second half training her so she has already been out 6 weeks, but she and I have a lot of leg room to cover in this area because she still doesn't know exactly what she is doing.. haha.. its all good though:)

I'm actually in Columbus, GA so I'm about 2 hours away from where I was before in Warner Robins. This base here is Fort Benning. There are some really nice people here, and the members that have fed us are a lot like the members I would suspect you'd find in Utah.. Haha. So that is pretty fun too.

And Sister Shephard actually wasn't from the mission office, but rather a member we had lunch with. Probably should have gone though the mission office, but we were on a time crunch and needed the information ASAP. Haha that was super fun though to hear you talk to her.

I do automatically receive a Ensign from the mission, so I think I should be fine. We might fight over the little insert with all the new apostles on it though.. Haha Ok not really, I'd let my companion have it, but its funny to think about..

I'm sorry this email isn't as long as most my emails are, but I have a lot to do today since its a new area that needs a lot of updating and fixing up.
Love you!

Sister Monica Walker

Monday, September 28, 2015


To my favorite Mother in the whole wide world,

I'm being transferred! I'm also still going to be a Sister Training Leader, and I'm also going to be a trainer. So basically I'm going to be super busy this next transfer. I just hope that I will be able to do all that the Lord wants and expects of me in the next 6 weeks. I do know however, that I can do whatever the Lord asks me to do as long as I am relying on Him, because He can do anything, even shape me in the way He needs me. I am of course very nervous, but I am still very excited to be able to have this opportunity to serve my Heavenly Father and my Brother, Jesus Christ. 

Yesterday during Sacrament Meeting, I was able to bear my testimony to the ward, and I hardly got any words out before I was crying. It's almost harder to leave this area than it is to leave home because the people at home I know I will see again soon, but the people here I might not ever see again in this life. It isn't a bad thing though because how wonderful will be our reunion in the Celestial Kingdom will all these people who I have met and become like family too? I really have loved serving in Warner Robins and I am so super excited to be a part of the Lord's work elsewhere.
In other news though, I don't remember if I told you about Endora, but she and her two older daughters are preparing for baptism, and this last week we discovered that her boyfriend might be interested in learning too! We weren't sure before, because he would always take the baby and go outside when we came, granted he was always very nice, and he wasn't leaving because we got there, but rather to help it be a more calm environment without the baby. It turns out though that he might get baptized with the rest of his family! That made me kind of excited because they would be baptizing a whole family in stead of just part, and then they can go to the temple in a year and be sealed for ever as a family. It makes me so happy and excited when that is everyone's goal! Because families truly can be forever, but only through God's authority and not anyone else's.

I also really loved Conference! We watched it at a member's home, and it was such a spiritually uplifting event! The story of the girls Great Aunt Rose made me cry. It testified to me of the love that my Savior has for every single person in the world, and that no matter where we are in life, He can help us lift those burdens and "shake off the chains" of the adversary (2 Nephi 1:23).

I love my Father in Heaven! He is such a source of comfort to me:) Especially when those hard times come (as they always do) and I can't go to any of my other family. His Beloved Son, My Brother, knows my sufferings and my joys and weeps and rejoices with me every single day. The Holy Ghost is always with me and I can feel Him guiding my thoughts, words, and actions in the direction that My Father wants. Jesus Christ LIVES! And because He lives I can have joy, and peace, and hope! There is nothing that can change my thoughts on that. I know that the love my family (both earthly and heavenly) have for me is real, and powerful. Prayer is the key to greater knowledge and enlightenment. I love my scriptures, and I learn from them all the time. God is real.

I love you!
-Sister Monica Walker

(Your favorite child)

P.S. What happens for transfers here is that we all get on a conference call Saturday night (Except this time is was Saturday morning due to the women's session of conference), and they list the names of the missionaries who need to pack their bags and go to the transfer meeting on Tuesday. They also list the names for all the new trainers (whether 2nd half or brand new isn't announced) and they have to be early to the transfer meeting for another meeting that they will go to to help them learn how to be trainers. Then today (Monday) They send an email out with the names of all the leaders for the transfer, and my name was on that too. But they list those randomly because they don't want people to be able to guess who their companion is before they get to the transfer meeting. (Although if you really in tune with the spirit you'd be able to figure it out) haha so really I don't know much except for the fact that I have to pack and prepare to help another missionary learn the ropes and that somewhere I will be training all the sisters in the area.

I don't know if it will be a brand new missionary or a missionary that has been out for 6 weeks, since training technically is 12 weeks. But yes. The Lord has asked me to do a lot this next transfer. Basically every position that I can fill on my mission all at once. Plus I'm transfering. So yep. I know I can do it though. Because the Lord has asked me too, and He's not going to leave me hanging

Mom I do want you to know that as hard as a mission is I really do love being here:) It is so awesome and I get to meet all these wonderful people. I do miss talking with you all the time though about the things I learn, but there is just not enough time to share everything that I want to with you, but I am making a little book for what I learn from the Book of Mormon, and I will send that to you when I am done and you can read that:)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Talents vs Abilities

Dearest Mother,

You really are super amazing! Thank you for sharing about Celeste. I really appreciate it:)
I remember Celeste. She was so nice. I think that is the best thing ever that she got to go to the temple to be sealed with her family before she passed away. And it truly is a miracle that it was able to happen so quickly. Her family is definitely blessed for that. I also love that the sister who was on a mission was able to be home for that sealing. That made me cry! But in a good way:) This is really is the message that we share. Families can be together forever! I am sad that she is no longer here on earth to be able to experience the things in the rest of her life. Her death is sad because she was so young, but her faith was so strong that I have no doubt as to where she is now, and I know that she will still have that opportunity to have a family of her own because that is a promise that Heavenly Father extends to all of His children. Because of Jesus Christ, and the sacrifice he gave, we have been promised eternal happiness. Eternal life, with God, with a FAMILY. I love my Savior. I love the things He has done and continues to do for each of us every single day. He is amazing. The Hymn I Know that my Redeemer Lives is probably one of my most favorite, because everything in it is exactly what He is to me. It is my testimony! You should listen to it, and pretend I am singing it, because I am in my head:) Here is the link so you can go straight to it:)

This actually reminds me of the training I received a little bit ago from President Cottle, that I then shared later with the other missionaries. It was about our talents vs our abilities. To start off, President Cottle had us try to write down the top ten of our talents in 30 seconds. That was really hard, and most didn't even get 5. He then asked us to reevaluate our list and ask ourselves if they were really talents or were they abilities, and what the difference was? Upon further reflection and lots of scriptures, President Cottle explained that everyone has many abilities. He went to the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, and had us read it. They were given talents according to their "several ability" not just their single ability, but their many ability. In short, he explained that the difference between the two was that talents are abilities used in service of the Lord. Take singing for example. If we are only ever in school choirs and never church choir, then its just an ability not a talent, no matter how well we sing. On the flip side, even if all you can play is one note at a time on the piano, and you play in church, it is a talent. Then he explained again the idea of the monetary price of talents. (These are his figures, some of them might be wrong. Or at least that was the disclaimer her told us.)
1 talent=76.5 POUNDS of Gold.
1oz of gold=$500
so therefore,
1 talent=$6,000 or about 16.5 years of work
2 talents=$12,000 or about 33 years of work
5 talents=$30,000 or about 82 years worth of work
We each have different capabilities and different abilities given us. Some of us can only use it for 16 years, like Celeste. Some of us have the capability of using it for 82 years. However the reward for each is exactly the same. Because they were faithful over a "few things" He made them ruler over "many." God knows our hearts. He knows our abilities. He gave us the capability to use those abilities as talents, but has then given us the agency to choose whether or not we will. Remember that.
How will you use your abilities?

Love you so very much!
-Sister Monica Walker

Friday, September 18, 2015

Cornbread Recipe

This cornbread recipe was given to us by a member. It's really like cake. I liked it. Hope you do too.

1/2 cup butter/margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup sifted flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs. Add cornmeal. Alternate to dry ingredients and milk. Put in greased 8x8 pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Miracle from Fasting

Dearest Mother:)
I really do love my mission!

Last Fast Sunday, our whole mission participated in a fast for everyone in our mission to be able to find new investigators and progress them to baptism. This week, President Cottle shared with us some of the stories he heard and received as a result of this fast. Here's one of the miracles I saw from this fast:
A few months ago, a member of our ward gave us a referral to this old man who he did some work for, who the member said cried when he heard about the Plan of Salvation. So we have been trying to go over and teach him a little more about what the member had said, but we never had caught him at home, or when he had a free moment until last Friday. Unfortunately he wasn't really interested, but we did leave him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and told him we might try later. As we were walking back to the car, we saw a young teenage girl across the street who was watching us, and had been since we arrived. Sister Dietz said she wanted to go talk to her, so we went over and asked her if she wanted a picture of Jesus, she said yes, but then told us to hold on a minute, and she ran in to go tell her mother that we were there. The mother comes out about a minute later, and we tell her who we are and that we have a message for her from Jesus. She invites us in, and introduces us to her 3 children. One of her friends walks into the room, and the mom introduces her too, but it turns out we already know her because she is the best friend of the girl who just got baptized and we had met her the week prior. This was super unexpected because when we first met her, she was all the way on the other side of our area. Small world.. Anyway, we start talking about the baptism, and she asks us where our church is so we give her a card. We end up teaching the Restoration, but though the whole of it, the mom keeps telling her children that they have to pay attention because they were going to go to church that Sunday and she didn't want them to be confused. At the end of the lesson, we asked her and her family and the friend to pray about the things we taught and ask God if it was true. The mom looked at us and with a smile said, oh, I already know it is. I guess we looked a little confused, because she then added that she always prays about people who are coming to talk to her, either to sell things or to talk about religion, and God told her that we were messengers from Him. Crazy! That was pretty awesome and we are excited to go teach them again later in the week:) Unfortunately, they did not come to church, but we will try to get them there next week.
Those people that we meet randomly are sometimes the ones Heavenly Father has prepared the most for them to choose to receive the truths of the restored gospel. I really do love meeting them and sharing with them my testimony of Jesus Christ and our His and Our Father's love for us:)

We also had a baptism on Saturday of this 8 year-old kid we have been teaching. His name is Joey. It was technically a child-of-record baptism, so it wasn't a convert or anything, but the rest of his family, including his siblings, mom and grandparents are all converts so that was really awesome. He has been so excited to be baptized for months! His grandfather requested that we teach him the lessons that they were taught so that he can have a better understanding of what he needs to know when he is baptized. So we taught him all the lessons before being baptized. Last Sunday though he actually got up and bore his testimony on the Holy Ghost and how it helped in him class know what the answer was to a question he really truly did not know. It was the sweetest thing ever and it made me cry! He has been so great for his family, because they are all less-active, except for his grandparents, who they currently live with. The older sister ended up giving the talk for baptism, and they were all there for most of the lessons, as well as for the baptism. This family has gone through some really rough things this summer, but Joey's testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, as well as his effort in reading his scriptures every single day, praying all the time, and going to church for all three hours has really blessed his family to be closer together and even a little happier than they were at the beginning of the summer when I met them.

Love you lots!
Your favorite child:)
-Sister Walker

PS. Sister Cottle loves that she has had both Ben and I as her missionaries. She asks me all the time how he's doing:) and tells me all the time that she can definitely tell we are related by the Spirit we both have. I thought that was cool.

PSS. Favorite thing about Georgia is the rims on peoples cars. It seriously is super funny how much money is spent here on rims. There is even a place where you can rent rims for a day to put on your car. Rent-a-rims. Seriously though, there are some super crazy ones..
I do have a cool recipe you should make, its for this really good cornbread, but I forgot it at home.. I will send it to you though and you should try it. Its super good, and it isn't dry like most peoples corn bread here. (its not deep fried either)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Dearest Mother:)

This last week has been pretty amazing! So many miracles have been going on as we go around trying to share our testimonies of the Restoration. One of my favorites has been concerning our maintenance people. One of them, whose name is Dwight, lives in Macon. We have always waved at him when we saw him, and we always go and say hi. A few weeks before Sister Applegate left, we went and invited him to a baptism. Despite the fact that he didn't come, we were glad we invited him, because we were able to find out some of the problems he was having at home with a very sick wife. We offered to send the Elder's over to give her a blessing, and he told us he would get back to us, because he wanted to wait until she was more lucid before having someone come over. On Sister Dietz's first day here, he called to tell us, because he knew we would want to know, that his son had been killed in an automobile accident the Friday prior, and that he had just buried him, and then his wife had died that morning, and he was going to bury her later that week. We thanked him for telling us, and tried to offer the comfort we could over the phone. We didn't see him for a while, but the next time we did, we told him that the Elder's we were telling him about not only can give blessings of healing, but of comfort, and we asked if he would like one. He said yes, so we called Elders Owen and Wilkins (The APs) and told them where he lived and when he'd be home as well as gave them his phone number. Dwight was really excited to have them come. Unfortunately due to a miscommunication, they missed each other, but they were still able to meet Dwight's in-laws and teach them a little about the Restoration. They even said a prayer and then left. They called Dwight later and told him they were sorry they missed him, and have been trying to set up an appointment with him since. (He works two jobs so it's hard to catch him.) Dwight later told us that even though he missed them, he knew something had changed just by them being there. He still wants the Elders to come by though because he wants to continue to have that good feeling they left last time when he missed them. However, as sad as his circumstances are, I know that it has prepared him to hear and listen to the message we have to share. He loves the Spirit we bring when we talk with him, as well as the Elder's when they speak with him over the phone.

Our other maintenance guy, Thomas, we would also wave to every day, and this morning when he was fixing one of our light bulbs, we asked him if he'd be interested in learning more, and he said that if we could catch him when he wasn't working he'd like that. He was visiting his girlfriend in Jacksonville, Florida, and saw two Elders who lived two doors down from his girlfriend backing up the driver in the car. He apparently went and talked with them and told them he had two girls in the apartment complex that he works at that does the same thing. They explained that we were all from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that our church was all over the world. He then told us his girlfriend was coming up that weekend, and that we could try to see if we could see them then, because she is really religious too. Haha. So we gave him a Finding Faith in Jesus card with our number on it, and told him to call us if he has time and we will see what we can do. I'm so grateful to be able to be an example to those around us, so they can know that there is something a little different about what we share.

We then gave Dwight and Thomas some cookies, thanked them for fixing our lights, and then they left, and we came here. It is really fun being an example to others, even if it is because we look a little strange because we are backing each other up in the middle of a field of grass. 

I love you a lot! Have a wonderful week! and always remember your Savior!

-Sister Monica Walker

P.S. Oh! I forgot to tell you that Sister Cottle [Mission President's wife] told me to tell you that I am an awesome missionary, and that my area has been leading the mission since I have been here, and that she loves me, and Ben, and thinks I'm amazing.. And a bunch of other stuff I forgot.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Baptisms Galore

To the Greatest Mother in the Whole Wide World!

I'm glad you liked my birthday card:) I put a lot of thought into not only writing it, but getting it too:) Just so you know, I don't really think you are old.. You can never be old to me, because you are my mother:) Also I'm glad you figured out that the letter was addressed to you, and not some other mother somewhere out there. How often do you check the mail? Because that letter should have gotten there quite a bit before your birthday. I actually wrote it at the beginning of August and then hung on to it for a week, and then sent it so that it would arrive closer to your birthday:)

This week has been absolutely amazing!! We have another baptism this Saturday for our investigator Tonieshia. We have been teaching her since I got here, and she is finally ready for baptism! We are so excited for her! It really has been a work in progress, and there is still a lot of things we have to do for the baptism, but we are working hard to maker sure that it can run smoothly when the day comes:)

Last Friday was one of the best days I have ever had on my entire mission. It was the day we try to set aside so we can plan for the following week, and so most of the day was taken up by making those plans, and we only had a few hours at the end of the day to actually go and talk with people and share the Gospel. So when we finished planning it was about three in the afternoon, and we had to go because we were being picked up by one of our new ward missionaries (who had never gone out with us before). The first person we saw was Evon, who was the lady who had been in the hospital a few weeks ago because she almost died. We scheduled an appointment with her and we went and talked with her about baptism a little bit more. Last time we had seen her, we asked her to pray about being baptized on the 26th of Sept. So we followed up with that, and she told us that it felt really good, and that she wanted to do it. One of the concerns we had with her was that every other week she would attend "her church" and then she would come to "our church" when she was asked. Long story short, she basically realized that she can't keep doing that, and she understands that if she really does want to be baptized she can't continue to go to another church. It has finally clicked with her the importance of Priesthood, or the Authority of God, and where it comes from.

We then went to go see a lady by the name of Virginia and her daughter Danielle, who has actually come to church 3 times in a row, and who decided she wanted to join the choir, and one of those Sundays actually sang in choir. We had asked her before to be baptized, and she agreed at first, but then a few days later called us and told us that she wasn't ready for that commitment yet. However, when we went to them and talked with them about baptism again (after about another month and a half of teaching) they agreed to pray about being baptized on the 3rd of October, which they said they were pretty sure would be a good day for them, because it still gives them time to learn more about what we have been teaching them.

Then we went home, and ate dinner.

THEN we went and visited this awesome lady named Endora, and her kids Unique (9), Quanaisa (11), and Princess (1). We taught them the pan of Salvation and then invited them to also be baptized on the 10th of October. They all looked us in the eyes, and not only said yes, but said with firmness, that they promise that they will do what is needed to be baptized by that day.

Anyway, that was a pretty awesome day because not only did we put 6 people on date for baptism, but they all understand the importance of what they are promising, and all of them are pretty solid in their willingness to be baptized.:)

Super excited for the weeks that are to come!
Sending all my love
-Sister Monica Walker

PS next week is a holiday, so I wont be able to email Monday, and will probably do so on Tues.