Monday, July 27, 2015

He is Aware of All of Our Struggles

Dearest Mother:)

I really do love the letters you send me every week. They make me cry:) Although, I am your daughter, so I guess its expected. I'm glad Robert and Dad got my letters, and that the boys are home now. I do have to say thought that this will be the first time in your life, that you have only sons in the home considering both your daughters are currently elsewhere in the United States.. Haha

Jonathan and Ashley on her baptism day!
This week has been an extremely spiritual week for my companion and I. As you aware from last weeks letter, one of our investigators Ashley got baptized last Saturday. Her boyfriend Jonathan, despite the car breaking down, and being irreparable, managed to make it Friday night home from BYU-I and was able to baptize her the next day. This baptism was so awesome! I was able to be a part of her being taught from the beginning, and since then have been working really hard for her to be prepared for her baptism. I watched Ashley start to cry because of the overwhelming feeling that the Spirit brought in to the room. I then turned to look at the mother and she was silently sobbing on the side of the room. I knew then that the Spirit was testifying to her of the truthfulness and rightness of the teachings we share and Ashley's commitment to it and the Lord. I'm so grateful I got to be a part of it, even for these short few months that I have been in Warner Robins.

We have this investigator named Evon. (Well actually she introduced herself as Evelyn at church one week, so I think that's her actual name, but she tells us to call her Evon). She is the strongest lady I have ever met. She goes into dialysis 3 times a week, and on two of those days, she has us come over and teach her. She told us once that even if she is in extreme pain, she will tell people that she is fine because she doesn't want them to worry about her. It is only when the pain is more than she can handle that she will tell us otherwise. She has also since I met her been through 3 surgeries. We saw her after one of them, and she told us that she was not feeling great at all, which made us worried because she never complained, but we let her rest. The last two weeks we have been trying to see her and her car has been there, but she never answered the door. We knew she loved us coming by, and she is the type of person who if she had wanted to stop the discussions would frankly tell us not to come back, and that she would never leave us hanging. Day after day we would try her, but no one would answer. It made me sad and a little worried as the days turned into weeks. Yesterday our phone rang, but we didn't answer since we were in a teaching appointment. We didn't recognize the number, and so we listened to the voicemail that was left. The voice was very weak, and even on speaker phone we could hardly hear, so we pulled over so we could concentrate on listening to the voice. It was Evon! She started out by telling us who it was, and where she lived, and then apologized to us for being MIA for so long. We later found out, that she had very nearly died, and that it was only the grace of God that keeps her heart beating. Her last surgery had many complications, and she ended up in ICU for a while. As soon as she was able, she got our number and called us to let us know that she was still alive, and that she was sorry she hadn't been in touch since. She was still in the hospital in Macon, so we couldn't go see her. We called the APs in Macon and asked if they could go visit her for us, which was a problem at first, because we didn't know what room number she was in, and all we had was her name. They were able to find her though, and they left a Book of Mormon with her so that she could read it while she was in the hospital, since her Book of Mormon was here at home. She was very grateful for that. After our dinner appointment, we were finally able to get a hold of her ourselves, and we talked to her for a little bit and got more of the information of what actually happened. She was very grateful that we sent the missionaries to go see her when we couldn't, and she even told us that she had prayed about the Book of Mormon, and that she is only getting good feelings from it. That was something we were trying to get her to do last time we talked with her, and I'm so glad she was able to recognize the importance of the Book of Mormon. I know that she has great potential to recognize the Spirit and the truthfulness of the things we are sharing with her. I know that even though she has a hard life dealt her, that even if she were to pass away before she was able to be baptized, I know with a certainty that she would accept it later. I hope I can be here when she does take that step for her eternal progression, and I'm glad Heavenly Father has allowed her a little more time on Earth so that we could continue to share with her our testimonies of the truthfulness of His plan for her.

There is this other family that we try to visit (I've only shared something with them once). They are an in-active family, and the mother is very bitter towards God. She has three sons, and all of them have a disease that has something to do with genetic blindness, and they have all undergone surgeries to prevent it (the oldest is 9 and the youngest is 2). She tries to help them, and there are times that because they are in pain, and she is restraining them from hurting themselves, that they get angry towards her, and it breaks her heart to see them in so much pain. She is mad at God for their pain, and she hates the idea that their suffering is her trial. However, she will still accept blessings for her children before their surgeries, but she expects them to be healed completely rather than relying on the will of God. Her youngest was scheduled for a surgery a few weeks ago, to fix the cataract in his eyes. When they went in for the surgery (after the blessing) the cataract had disappeared! I know that it was God's hand in the healing, because things like that just don't happen on their own, especially since the cataract was huge just the week before. We haven't yet been able to see the mother, we just spoke to the father briefly, but I know that God is aware of this family, and that He knows their struggles, and is right there with them trying to help them overcome it. 

I know my Father in Heaven loves all of these people. I know He knows their struggles even more than I do. I know He is trying to help them in every manner that he can. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be an instrument in His hands to help them, even when I won't know the outcome. 

He Lives! He Loves! And He is aware of all of our struggles! Nothing escapes His notice, and if we but turn to Him, He has this beautiful plan for me, for you, and for everyone to be the happiest we have ever been forever and ever. 

I love my Savior and this Gospel. The peace it brings me is awe inspiring. He is Hope.

I love you all!

-Sister Monica Lyn Walker

PS We found this really cool apartment complex that we didn't know existed, and we already have 5 investigators there, and about 6 good potentials. And we haven't even finished tracting the area!
These are ninja blackbelt gingerbread cookies.. my district found out I'm a 2nd Degree black belt, and now they are all obsessed over it, so some of the Elders made us these. 
 P.S.S. This was my training I did! It was super fun:) I had an obstacle course in which I blindfolded three Elders and told them to make their way through it. One companion I told to guide him step by step through it, another I had yell from across the room, and the last I told not to say anything. It was supposed to represent the three kinds of companions you could have. One who takes them step by step through the process, another who just tells them the end goal, and the last who doesn't tell them anything at all. The first made it through with still a few bruises, but very little, the second ran into two tables, 5 chairs, a trashcan, and some other items, the last wandered around lost until he finally, but very slowly made it to the end, long after everyone else. It was awesome:)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Remember the "Kit-KAT"


We have had the craziest week this week! We had three baptisms on Saturday, which went super awesome. Sister Kozak was the speaker and she gave the baptism talk for the Vazquezes (those being baptized, aka Rhonda, Eric, and Carlos). She said that the Kit-Kat candy bar perfectly represents baptism. She said it is a Baptism Kit that tells you what you are about to promise to do. First, Keep the commandments. When we are baptized, we promise to keep all of God's commandments. Second, Always remember Jesus Christ. Like it says in the sacrament prayers, we need to always remember our Savior so that we can do our best to resist temptations. Last, Take His name upon you. It is important that when we are member's of Christ's church, that we are doing our best to represent Him. Our example is what people will see when they see The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and we need to being doing all that we can to be a good example and exemplify Christ as best as we can so that others may be uplifted and brought to the gospel. Therefore, its a baptism Kit-KAT. Get it? I thought it was an awesome analogy. I wrote that down in my journal too so I can remember it forever.

We also had three of our investigators at the baptism, none of whom who had ever come to church before! Which is saying something since we have had at one point 7 of our investigators at church at one time. It has been super awesome in the week leading up to those baptisms. Every day, so that we could keep in contact with them and make sure they knew they had our support, we texted them, or they texted us so that we could get to know each other better. One of the first questions was "if you were left on a deserted island all by yourself, what three things would you bring?" My answer? My Kindle, my pillow, and an axe. <- Basically so I could build myself a shelter and relax all day long reading. My companions answer? Ice cream, her phone, and a helicopter. Her goal? To get off the island. Haha I thought that was really funny, and definitely shows the differences between our personalities.

We not only had three baptisms on Saturday, but three of the families in the morning ended up moving as well. One moved to a different ward, but the other two just moved into different homes in the same ward boundaries. There were apparently so many people to help, that they finished all three moves about 30 mins before they were even supposed to show up to the last one. They finished right before 11, which is when My companion and I showed up to help the Groves move their daughter in with them. We were able to help organize stuff though, which was super useful for them. The Groves just so you know are an awesome family where everyone but the grandmother was baptized a year ago. Sister Grove (the grandmother) was baptized later because of some Word of Wisdom issues she had to fix before she could be baptized. Brother Grove is a biblical scholar and he basically knows the entire Bible front to back. So everything we tell him he already seems to know. He is however enjoying having the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine of Covenants to decipher.. 

We worked really hard this week to achieve all of our goals, and we did! that was super awesome:) We even had 14 lessons where members came with us! That was super awesome too. The members here really are nice and have really good testimonies that they are willing to share.

The investigator was going to be baptized on Sunday? That's pretty unusual considering they'd have to wait a week before being confirmed, since that usually happens in the following Sacrament Meeting. I assume it had to do with the fact that she was near delivery though? That's too bad though, then the baby could say that he was baptized twice.. Haha, not really, but it would be funny.

I love that you shared that experience with me with the Sacrament Mom:) Its been hard sometimes to focus on the talks that are being given because we are so worried about the investigators that we have with us. For example, last week we had a less active who came to church for the first time in years, who has a issue with the Law of Chastity (She doesn't really understand that you can't just say sometimes is ok to not follow it and other times its not) and every single talk was on the Law of Chastity.. And then there was another investigator who was an shy 19 year-old who we hadn't taught the Law of Chastity to yet, and she probably thought that it was the weirdest church ever considering her first Sunday at church was Stake Conference, and then the next time she comes its about chastity.. haha oh well. Anyway, my point is though, that this actually happens a lot, and while I'm sure it is important for these people to hear this, and it will probably be the thing they need to hear, we get the fall back, and some people aren't very happy with us. We are still teaching both of them though, and the boy friend of the less active we are also teaching, and he is super open about the whole thing.
Oh! That reminds me, we were teaching the boyfriend the other day, with a member, and we were teaching the Plan of Salvation. He was raised Baptist, and he said that he didn't like being forced to go to church when he was younger so he quit going, but as we were teaching the Plan, we were discussing how it was different from what any other church believes, and he said that what we had shown him was what he had always thought he believed, but he never had it all concretely laid out before. So basically, he said he remembered this plan from the Pre-exsistance. That was super awesome:) It also made my day, because I always wanted someone to tell that to me.

This was my Zone last transfer:)
Oh! Other crazy thing I almost forgot to tell you. We have this investigator named Ashley who we have been teaching for the past few weeks. She actually attended church for a while with her member boyfriend's family, and then I met her at church (not knowing she wasn't a member, because I didn't know anyone) and we ended starting the discussions that week. Her boyfriend goes to school at BYU-I, and since she wants him to baptize her, we have all been counting down the days until he comes home from school, which is this Saturday. (side note, this means Ben and Josh are finishing their semester this week, so good luck on your Finals!) We asked her to be baptized that first week we had met her, and set her date to be the 25th of July. A few weeks later, we pushed the date because we weren't sure when her boyfriend would be getting home that Saturday so we just decided to be safe we would move it, but then they will be out of town the weekend of the 1st of August, so we scheduled it for the 8th. Yesterday, we finished lesson four with her, and because of the rules now, we have to teach all 5 lessons before they are interviewed for baptism, so our plan was to finish the 5 lesson this week, go over the questions with her to make sure that our mission president wouldn't have to interview her, and then interview her next Sunday (which would be 2 weeks in advance) for her baptism. Yesterday, she found out that her boyfriend's grandfather would be leaving to go home on the 1st, and because she doesn't have a whole lot of support at home, and she really likes this family, she asked if it were possible for her to be baptized on the 25th. THIS SATURDAY.. They are supposed to be interviewed a week in advance, and we still hadn't finished the lessons, so we made about 6 phone calls last night to all of our leaders to ask if it were first of all feasible for it to happen, and number two, if we should do it. We were told to pray about it for ourselves, so we did, and after talking to Ashley on the phone (because she had texted us this) we had decided to go ahead with the baptism this Saturday. She is definitely ready, and has been for a while, but it was a stressful hour since we found this out at about 9 last night, and our curfew was 9, and we had to be off the phone by 10:30. We called the Bishop, the ward mission leader, and his assistant, our district leader, Ashley, and all these other people to get this going. We have to cram a lot of stuff into one lesson tonight so that she can be interviewed right after. We have paperwork we need to work out, we have to schedule the building (and pick out a time fro the baptism), figure out who is giving each talk, praying, playing the piano, etc. So its going to be pretty awesome I think. This does mean though that for three weeks in a row we will be having a baptism every Saturday, because Nina, another of our investigators is being baptized on the 1st of August next week:)

We are so super excited!!
Love you all!
Sister Monica Walker

PS I'm still Mom's favorite
PPS Dad's too:)

PPPS Thanks for the camera!! The pictures will be sent in another email:)

Monday, July 13, 2015


Dearest Mother,
I told someone the other day that you miss me because I am your favorite child. They laughed. I don't think they realized that I was serious. Haha, just kidding. I know you love your other children too, but I'm your favorite missionary:) 

I love that you got to experience that at the temple! There was a time when I did confirmations at the Provo temple that one of the Brethren who had their hands on my head was deaf. He wasn't the one "speaking" but I still thought it was cool that they can still participate in the ordinance. 

I love temples so much! They are so awesome. We have some members that just passed their year mark, and they are preparing to go to the temple with their spouses and their children to be sealed together. I am so excited for them! I will probably be here when they go, but I won't be able to go to the temple with them since the Temple is 2 hours away and way out of our mission. I'm still excited for them though. One of the brothers who just passed his year mark is Brother Ramsey. We are so happy for him! The other brother who just passed his year mark is Brother Grove. He is super awesome! He is a Bible scholar and he knows so much about the scriptures already! We send out a scripture every morning, and he will almost always send one back within minutes. We don't know when he will be going to the temple, because his wife wasn't baptized until February. So he has a long time to wait before he can be sealed to her. We are trying to tell him that they can both go do baptisms, and he can go get his endowments, but I'm not sure if they will right now. They are an older couple too, so it is hard for them to travel long distances sometimes.

I'm glad you and Robert got home safely. We almost saw an accident on the road the other day. It wasn't serious, but they did collide. Sister Applegate and I were in the front of the line at a red light, and she didn't see it because the accident happened on the one blind spot in her vision (the part of the car between the front window and the side window), and my head was down. No one got hurt, but I felt bad that we just happened to miss it so that we couldn't go and help. It made me aware though that driving can be really dangerous, even when you aren't going very far. So I'm glad you got home safely.

Robert, advice to you. Follow the traffic rules. DO NOT SPEED, and do not get angry when someone is going slower or faster than you. We all committed to follow the laws of the land when we were baptized. So treat them like commandments.

Everything is going well though:) I told Dad that we had 3 baptisms on the 11th, and I actually meant the 18th. Haha. We are super excited for them though! The work is going great and we are meeting so many people and baring our testimony to all of them:)

Sending my love,
Sister Monica Walker
PS My Mother and Father are precious to me too:) 

Thursday, July 2, 2015


I am doing Wonderful! I love being a missionary! It is super hard though. I'm always tired.. But the more I teach, the less tired I get because the more excited I get! There are so many people here who are so amazing and have such great testimonies of their Savior. The people we teach usually have some knowledge of Him as well, but they don't know very much about Him, or they think since he lived so long ago, they have a disconnect with him, and it makes me a little sad. The worst is when they tell us they have already been saved and shut the door, or those who believe their religion is right for them. They are just so close to the truth they know those truths are good for them, but they don't take that lest piece to add to their knowledge and their faith, and then they won't be able to live in the Celestial Kingdom again. That is always hard to hear and see. But those who accept the things we share, and keep the commitments are the best people in the world. I love it when people really pray for the first time, or they share their testimonies of the restored gospel with us because the Spirit is there so strongly. 

Last time we talked to Jo, she hadn't yet read or listen anything from President Monson yet, and she asked us to giver her a little time to think about the things she had heard. She's one of those people who has to mull over everything she hears for a while before she can truly absorb it, and come to terms with it. So we are going to give her a little bit longer, and then we are going to call her and ask if we can go back to teach her a little more. I know that most often, when we are sharing things about the gospel, the investigators don't actually have their spiritual moment until after we leave. More often than not it is a few days later in a quiet moment when they are thinking about the things that we had said that the Spirit will touch them and they will have that "Ah ha" moment. I'm content to wait, but of course, I am still listening to the spirit to know when and what to say to all of our investigators.
I don't know if you had heard, but Sister Preston has been emailing me about her grandson who lives in the Warner Robins 1st ward where I am serving. She gave me his name and address, and we were able to go see him the other day. We didn't end up teaching him a lesson, but we did give him a pass along card of Jesus and told him to call us if he ever needs service or if he ever wanted to have us come over to talk and share about our beliefs. I'm glad we were able to go over and see him, because it showed that we were serious about what we do, and when people tell us to go visit others, we actual do. He was super nice, and he has some cute kids too:)

Here is an excerpt from my letter to President Cottle about some Jehovah Witness's we saw last week.
This week has been a very interesting week. We were invited to come back to a Jehovah Witness's home and to share a little of what we believe with them. According to Sister Applegate, this is a very rare occurrence since many of the people belonging to the Jehovah Witness faith are almost anti-Mormon. We did not teach a lesson exactly, but we were able to bear our testimonies of the truthfulness of the Restoration and the gospel to them. They even accepted a Book of Mormon and a Restoration Pamphlet. We were able to find out more about their faith as well, such as the fact that they believe that Jehovah is Heavenly Father and not Jesus Christ. I didn't know that's what they thought. At one point they asked us if we had ever read the name of God in the Bible, we looked at them all confused, and I honestly wasn't sure what they were asking. Eventually We realized they were asking about Jehovah, and we were able to bear our testimony of who God was to us, and who Jehovah was. I don't remember exactly what was said, but I do know that if it hadn't been for the Spirit, I would have had no idea what to say. 
Needless to say, I really learned how important it was to have the Spirit with us as we taught because they sometimes throw questions at us to either confuse us or make us say the wrong thing, and if we didn't have the Spirit, I personally would have a hard time knowing what to say. I love the Spirit. It is the best thing ever as a missionary!
The Jehovah Witness's were very nice, and as we ended our discussion, we had asked them if it was ok if we could say a prayer, and they said no. We thought they were kidding at first, but apparently they weren't. We didn't know if it was part of their religion or just their preference but we didn't say a prayer out of respect to their wishes. The father said that he was the only one who prayed in that house and that he didn't feel the need to pray right then because he had nothing to pray about.

I totally respect their religion and their beliefs, but it makes me sad that someone wouldn't want to pray because they had nothing to pray about. There are so many things that we can pray about. Our Father in Heaven wants to hear from us, and wants to hear about the concerns and questions we might have. He wants to hear the worries in our lives, and what is hard for us. He loves us so much!! Yes he might already know all about the day we had, but he still wants to hear from us, just like our own parents everyday want to hear about the day and week that we have had.

Love you all!

-Sister Monica Walker

I got this from one of the missionaries in the picture :) It's the people that came out with me.
From the left: Me, Sister McCulloch, Sister Pilimai
 The three Sisters in the back from the left: Sister Zenovieff, Sister Lee, Sister Lara
The two Elders: Elder Heyland, Elder Lloyd
Sister Lara came straight from Arizona since she had already been to the MTC, but then got sick so she went home for a bit before come out on her mission.
Elder Heyland actually came out when the Macon mission formed, and Ben was his Zone leader. He also apparently kinda new Josh as well since he lived in Josh's mission and had him over for dinner once or twice. CRAZY! So he wasn't at the MTC either.
Everyone else was part of my MTC District. They are all super awesome:)