Wow, Roberts pretty busy. Isn't it summertime now? Also how did his track go last Saturday? I want to hear how he did in the competition!
I honestly forgot Sean was getting married last week. Being a missionary you forget that the world you left behind continues to move on when every day here both feels like an eternity and a millisecond. Its kinda strange. I love it here though. the people are really nice. Well most of them anyways. My companion really is pretty awesome and she has taught me a lot in what I can and can't do. The first few days I didn't really want to talk much or contribute a whole lot because I was so nervous that I might say something that wasn't right or that it was too hard or complicated for them to understand. One thing I have been working on is trying to simplify my teaching and my questions so that I can teach more effectively.
There are so many people that I have met that I try so hard to remember, that I honestly try to pray for them in my nightly prayers, and I end up telling Heavenly Father to bless "this family", "them", or "this person" because I can't keep their names all straight, and I know Heavenly Father knows who I mean since I try to picture them as I say it. It's like I am sending pictures along with my prayers. Haha they're prayer attachments! Like email attachments? Get it? I thought that was funny.
We had 6 investigators at church yesterday. 6! This is apparently a record for Sister Applegate and she is almost done with her mission. What a great way to start off the mission. I know and understand that the mission won't always be like this, but I am going to try my hardest to reach this point every week of my mission. It's going to be so great.
One of the investigators Rhonda has two boys who are also investigating. They are so strong in their efforts to go to church and their desire to know the truth. They will be baptized in July and I'm super excited for them because they are so ready.
I have learned that here, there are some huge issues with smoking. We currently have one less active who is trying to quit, and we try to get her to stop for a week, because if we can, using this stop smoking program the church has, she is guaranteed to be able to quit. She keeps relapsing though and its kinda sad. She actually made it all the way to day 7, but then she smoked that morning, so she didn't make it completely.
We have another recent convert family in the same boat. They are approaching their year mark, and they want to go to the temple, but due to a lot of stress in their lives, the father has started smoking again. We are trying to think of all these ways we can help him to stop smoking. One of the things we are currently doing is calling him every day before he leaves for work, and during his breaks. We have to wake up at 3:55 in the morning to call him before he goes to work. Its crazy hard, and it does drag on me during the rest of the day even though I'm only up for a few minutes, but my hope and prayer is that it will make a difference. (Don't worry though, President Cottle did give us permission to do this since normally we aren't allowed to use our phones before 6:30.)
The bishop of this ward and his wife are pretty great. She is Thai, and he is black, and they actually met in Germany when he was there on assignment (he used to be in the army). They actually weren't members when they first met, but became members later. They got married and eventually came back to the states. When they came back to Warner Robins (where he grew up and where I am now) he wanted to go back to his old church but kept feeling like it wasn't right for him. He eventually ended up praying for God to help him and tell him what to do and where to go, and he said he would. Two days later the missionaries knock on the door. At first it was only him talking the lessons, and later his wife joined them, but he was surprised that she could answer all the questions that the missionaries asked. Turns out she had joined the church when she had first gone to the states, but had since gone inactive. Haha super funny.
I have also learned that the Lord really does answer prayers according to our faith.
Here's an excerpt of the letter I wrote to President Cottle explaining some of the things that happened.
One thing I have learned in abundance this week is that faith really does bring blessings. Its amazing what we as missionaries can do if we have faith. For example, Sister Applegate and I debated on whether or not we should go visit this potential investigator, but we were a little, well a lot worried about their dog. Sister Applegate said that the last time they were there with a member, the dog was barking and growling like crazy, and it is a big dog, so they never got out because they were so nervous about it biting them. Understanding this concern, I didn't really want to go there either, but I remembered it isn't really up to me where I go, because my time is not my own, but the Lord's. So He decides when and where I am to go somewhere. I can have trust in my Lord that he wouldn't send me somewhere where I wouldn't be protected if I was doing all that I was supposed to do, and even if I did, it would be for the betterment of myself. So in we went, and yes we saw the dog and it approached us, but this time it was very calm and didn't growl or bark at all. It truly was because of the Lord.
This is something else that happened, and according to Sister Applegate, people aren't usually this rude when you are teaching them, and she feels bad this happened my first week.
However this week wasn't all good fun times either. We met with a sister last Saturday who has been taught before, and never has been super receptive of the missionaries, but certainly needs the gospel in her life. When shown the picture of the happy family in the Restoration pamphlet, she said the family was fake because no one is that happy. We tried to testify of the atonement and the redemptive powers it has, but she was mad with God because He doesn't answer her prayers. We continued to try to teach her, and at one point she told us that first we weren't to bring up her children or her family again, and that we were boring and seemed to be a waste of her time. It was hard to hear, and it made me really sad that this sister who really could use the gospel would shut us down so hard. I understand that this might not yet be the time that she is ready to hear about the gospel, and I can only hope and pray that sometime she will be willing to try the things we invite her to do. She never did say that we couldn't come back though, so we will probably try visiting her again.
I understand that there will be people who wont accept the gospel when we teach it, but it is sad when people find it "boring." This is the best news anyone could ever receive!! It's salvation for our soul! It gives us eternal families and happiness! Hopefully one day this sister will have her heart be softened enough that she will be receptive to more.
Well this letter is long enough, just know that I love it here, both the good and the bad, and that I am super excited for the rest of it!
Your favorite Missionary Daughter
Sister Monica Walker
PS When you send letters to me, you have to send it with my first name as well because there are 3 Sister Walkers.
Warner Robins Georgia
There are a lot of African Americans here. I don't know why this surprises me. There is also an Air Force base in my area, so a lot of the people I meet have some connection to the army.
I actually had Thai food for dinner last night because I ate at the Bishop's home and his wife is Thai. It was ok, but I like restaurant Thai food better.
We are doing so well!! We had 6 investigators at church yesterday! Thats so many! We were also able to reach 8 out of 9 of our goals, which if you ask Ben and Josh is really hard to do. They weren't easy goals either.