Monday, August 24, 2015


Hello my most favorite Mother in the whole wide world!

Happy early Birthday!! I sent you a card:) I hope you got it. Also, I hope you know I only sent it to you because I thought it was funny (not because it is true), especially since I aged my father on his last birthday..

My companion is super awesome! Her name is Sister Dietz, and she is from St. George, Utah. She lives near the house there too! so if I ever visit St. George, then I can visit her, and we can go do something together:) Sister Dietz is a very happy person. She smiles at every person she meets. She always sounds so cheerful when she is talking to others and she is going to be such an awesome companion:) I love her already! It will be different for sure for me to adjust too, because I am so used to having Sister Applegate with me, but it will be good for me as I try to get acquainted with having to work without someone to tell me what to do when I forget. Sister Dietz has only been out 6 weeks longer than me, so we are both fairly new to Georgia, but we are working everything out and loving every second:)

Its so crazy to me that Robert is almost driving. Does he have his permit yet? or does he have to wait? That's going to be weird for me when I get home and he is driving with a license.. Crazy crazy..
So last Tuesday during our transfer meeting, Jon Schmidt from the Piano Guys was there with his daughter (who was going home from her mission), and he played a song for us on the piano before we started the meeting. It was super awesome! Later that night, we had the opportunity to go to a night of Music and Testimony with Jon Schmidt that he was doing at the stake center. That was so awesome! Between songs that he played, he would bare his testimony of something, and then have the song be about that. It was so cool to see him play in person. I didn't get a picture with him, because I forgot to earlier in the day, and I needed to leave to get back to our apartment by curfew. I did however thank him earlier in the day, and shook his hand, for the music that he has been a part of and that I listen to in my car every day. That I thought was really nice.

So yesterday I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting. This ward has the missionaries be the youth speakers, because they don't have many youth, so my talk had to be around 8 minutes. I discovered that that is actually kinda hard to plan for, especially when I have so much I want to say about it. My topic was prayer and missionary work. At first when I received it, I thought of the way that prayer helps with missionary work. I thought to focus it on missionary work, and tie in prayer with it, but as I planned I learned something really interesting that I will try to explain after I tell you what my talk was.

I started off with 2 Nephi 26:15. Yes the first part of it is doom and gloom, but I thought it made a good point. "After my seed and the seed of my brethern shall have dwindled in unbelief, and shall have been smitten by the Gentiles; yea, after the Lord God shall have camped against them round about and shall have laid siege against them with a mount, and raised forts against them; and after they shall have been brought down low in the dust, even that they are not, yet the words of the righteous shall be written, and the prayers of the faithful shall be heard, and all those who have dwindled in unbelief shall not be forgotten." Prayers are powerful. If we are praying for others to hear about the gospel, those prayers are heard by God, and those people are not forgotten. I have decided that the Bible Dictionary, as cliche as it is to use it, is a magnificent resource for gospel terms. there is so much to learn from there that we might not have known. One day I am going to read through the Bible Dictionary so that I can better know what it is talking about when we are referring to certain things. Anyways, I know I have told you this before, but in the Bible Dictionary under prayer, it says "As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand towards God (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once, prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part." Heavenly Father wants to know what our day was like, just like parents want to know when their kids come home from school, or they come home from work. I remember all those times Dad was always asking me how school was and I wouldn't tell him very much, because by the time he got home from work, I had been home from school for a few hours, and I had already told you all about my day, and didn't really feel like saying it all again. So when I would respond with a short answer, he would nudge me until I told him more about my day. That is like Heavenly Father. Granted, He already knows about the day we had, but He likes hearing it from us anyway. He wants us to tell him about the things we struggled with that day, the things we accomplished, the goals that were reached, and maybe the goals that weren't reached. He wants to know how we felt when we were yelled at, and he He wants to know how we felt when someone prayed for the first time. He also wants to know what we will try to do to make the next day a productive and good day. He has promised us, that as we pray for these specific things that He will help us achieve it. However, it is important to remember that if we are asking for things that are contrary to His Will, then we won't get the answer that we want. In the Bible Dictionary, later under prayer, it says "We pray in Christ's name when our mind is the mind of Christ, and our wishes the wishes of Christ" Our Father wants to hear our prayers, and He wants us to ask for things because He wants to bless us, and make us happy. When there are things that we are having trouble with, we can ask Him for help, however when we are asking for things that we think we might need, but really don't He might not give it to us. Our prayers have to reflect the desires of Christ. What is the desires of Christ and Heavenly Father you might ask? Well guess what! He told us. In Moses 1:39 "For behold, this is my work and my glory--to bring to pass the immortality, and eternal life of man." Therefore the things that He does for us are so we can return to Him. That is what His ultimate goal is. So our prayers should reflect that. Our prayers should be how we and others ARE, CAN, and WILL come closer to God. Then something crazy starts to happen. The more we get closer to Him, the more we want others to be closer to Him. I can't help but think of the fruit in Lehi's dream. 1 Nephi 8:12 "And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit." Lehi knew what the love of God felt like, and instead of basking in it, and keeping it all for himself, he turned to his family and wanted them to have it too, because he knew that it would not decrease the joy he felt if he shared it with his family, in fact it would make him feel more joy. We too will feel that the more we share it with those that we know around us. So here is the crazy part I never understood about prayer. Our prayers get us closer to God, which help us bring other's closer to God, which help us be closer to God, which helps us bring even more others closer... Get it? Prayer isn't just about telling Heavenly Father about our day. It is a continual circle of increasing love for Him and His Children. My mind was blown.. Especially since in my Patriarchal Blessing there is a line in it that tells me to learn the importance of prayer. I always thought it meant because prayer is how we talk to Heavenly Father, and the peace that can bring us sometimes, but I'm beginning to understand that there is so much more to prayer that I ever thought I knew before. 

Crazy right? If I found something so simple as prayer to be so mind blowing to me, then I'm kind of excited for what I might learn about the other "primary answers" like church, scripture study, etc.
I really do love my mission and all the people here. I am learning so much for myself, and am looking forward to when I can have more time to study things out in my head at home since I won't be left with only an hour for personal study, but can have lots of hours of study. In the meantime, I love teaching the people here the basics of what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is. I LOVE JESUS AND MY HEAVENLY FATHER SO MUCH!!!!! They are truly the most important people in my life. (Sorry family but you are second..) 

Love you all!
Sister Monica Walker
(Mom and Dad's favorite child, because I gave them birthday cards from across the country:))

PS. my countdown starts in 2 months:) [Editor's Note: Monica starts a daily count down to her birthday (April 21) every year six months prior to the event.]

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Listen to the Holy Ghost

Hello Dearest Mother!! 

Sister Applegate left yesterday for the mission home because she flies home today. Its a little weird not being with her. It is also weird to know that I am done with my training and that now I have to remember everything I was trained on so that I can be as obedient and effective as possible. I know I won't remember everything, but this area is so awesome and I don't want to mess anything up because of the things I forgot to do that I had already learned I was supposed to do. Whatever happens though, it is all in Heavenly Father's hands. We will be able to accomplish His work if we are doing the best we can. He will magnify our efforts as we make a point to become unified with Him.

That's actually something I learned at a training I did last Thursday for our Zone. It was on unity and how we can become more unified as a companionship and a mission in the work that we do. I started it with having three of the Elders in my district doing a role play where they went into a lesson prepared to teach the Word of Wisdom, but the investigator would actually have a concern about the Atonement. If they were listening to the Spirit, they would catch on to that, and would begin to teach Atonement and not the Word of Wisdom. One Elder caught it and while the other continued to try to teach the Word of Wisdom. It left the investigator confused and unsure about what was going on. An important point in this is that they could have both been "unified" in teaching the Word of Wisdom, but it wouldn't have been very helpful to the investigator because that was not their concern. Even then, one elder might bring up something different about the Word of Wisdom than the other one wanted, and the whole lesson would be bad. However, if they are both listening to the Spirit, and trying to do that which their Father wants them to do, then they will be able to have greater knowledge of what this person needs, and have the words brought to mind as to what they should say to help this individual Child of God. 

The quote you sent me about still having a lot to work on really reminded me of this, because it is through our unity with God's will that we are able to best help His children. Something that struck m was in the Bible Dictionary under "prayer" (yes I know I sent something from this word before in the Bible Dictionary, but this is a different part of it). This is the part I wanted to share with you- "We pray in Christ's name when our mind is the mind of Christ, and our wishes the wishes of Christ--when His words abide in us (John 15:7). We then ask for things it is possible for God to grant. Many prayers remain unanswered because they are not in Christ's name at all; they in no way represent is mind, but spring out of the selfishness of man's heart." Now this doesn't mean he doesn't want us praying for things that we need. For example, we can still pray to find out where our lost keys, purse/wallet, homework, etc are, but rather that if we are asking God to give us a bigger fancier newer home when we already have a nice home that suits our needs, he isn't going to give it. On the other hand, if we are asking because our circumstances have changed and we no longer can fit into the home we have, or we need to move, its ok to ask for a nice home to suit the needs tat we have, and that we can be comfortable and happy in.

As we align our will to the Father's, then our testimonies and effectiveness will increase. We will begin to see more of the picture than the small little piece in the corner, and the effect we have on other's will also increase because we know more of what God wants for them because it will be what we want for them.

In more sad news, we did have a member of the ward pass away last Monday from cancer. She was diagnosed about a year ago, but she reused treatment, because her mother had the same cancer, and the treatment was extremely painful on all who were involved and she still passed away. She decided she wasn't going to put her family through that, so she just lived the rest of her life as best as she could. Basically everyone in our stake is related to her, so her funeral was huge, but it was also really sweet because many people were so happy for her. They knew how much pain she had been in before she passed, and she had a peaceful passing and is now free from that pain. The Plan of Happiness truly does bring people happiness. It was a celebration of her life rather than a funeral, and while there were some who were really sad due to the lack of understanding of the Plan, and that made me sad, but it was really fun to hear the stories of her life, and the crazy things she did. (Oh she had just turned 59 at the beginning of this month.) It reminded me a little of the funeral that I went to with you a few years ago for your Uncle. That was a funeral full of laughter too:)

Side note: Eric (Who was baptized a few weeks ago, and is 12) gets to receive the Aaronic Priesthood next Sunday! Which means in two weeks he can pass the sacrament as a deacon:) THIS IS SO COOL!!!

I really do love it here, despite the bugs, heat, and humidity..

Oh! Other thing I learned this morning in my study. As I may or may not have told you, I have made it may goal to go through the entire Book of Mormon, verse by verse, and explain what each verse means to me today. I thought about doing this because of the principle where every single verse has been written for our time, and it has been abridged with the Spirit as to what is truly important for us today. I counted the verses to see how many there were, ad there are 6604 verses in the Book of Mormon (Not including any headings or the Title Page). This is a project that will take me years to complete, but I want to study the scriptures more in depth and this is how I have decided to do so. Anyway, I was reading in 1 Nephi 2 and was thinking about verse 12 Which reads "And thus Laman and Lemuel, being the eldest, did murmur against their father. And they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them." and I thought about how so often I look at Laman and Lemuel as these horrible people because they are so wishy-washy in their obedience to their father and the Lord, despite the miracles they have seen in their lives. Then I thought about how unfair that was of me to think that because they are more like us than we would like to admit sometimes. They complain because they don't understand. They didn't understand why God was having them do the things they were doing, and they didn't understand His purpose. All they saw was someone trying to take away everything they knew. They didn't see someone trying to give them all that He has. Then I thought about how if I were offered 1 million dollars to go out in 100% humidity 110 degree weather for an hour, knocking on doors where no one answered, I would probably go cheerfully to every door, whether or not they answered because I would be so excited to have that reward at the end. Comparing that to the work I do now, its ridiculous of me to complain. Because the reward Heavenly Father gives me for the things that I do are worth infinitely more than any amount of cash I could have. And then to add on top of it, is that I get to give everyone else that opportunity to receive the same blessings as I have, without diminishing what I get at all.. Isn't that an interesting thought? I definitely makes me want to complain less..

Well that's it for this week:)
I love you!!
You favorite daughter:)

Sister Monica Walker

P.S. Both Sisters in a companionship would be Sister Trainers. Its like a Zone leader, but for the Sisters. So I am technically over all the sisters in my Zone. I have to make sure everything is going well with them and that they are getting along with their companions and making sure they are doing what they are supposed to be doing (ie waking up on time, actually studying, exercising). We also go on exchanges with each of them once a transfer to make sure all is well in their area.  (Exchanges are where one missionary goes somewhere else, and another comes here for 24 hrs.) Zone leaders are still over the whole Zone, sisters included, but since they can't exchange with the sisters, thats what we do.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

'Calling' Our Heavenly Father

Dearest Mother,

The car was not damaged, but it was a pretty funny story I thought. Sister Applegate doesn't, but I figured its over and done with, nobody got hurt, nothing was damaged, so I tell the story to everybody. haha. Really the best lesson in that is to listen to the Spirit. Sister Applegate had an impression that she should have made me get out and back the car, but she ignored it, and our car got stuck.. so yep. listening to the Spirit is important.

Evon is back home now! Well she is actually at her daughter's home because she can't be by herself anymore, but she is out of the hospital:) We went over to see her, and they were packing up all her stuff to put it in storage. As we got out of the car, she saw us, and squealed like a little girl. She was so excited that we came by to see her:) We gave her the pictures of us we had been carrying around for a while, and she said she was going to frame them in her room. We always ask if its ok if we read scriptures with her, or say a prayer, and she always gets after us because she said it won't ever be bad timing, so we should stop asking and just do it. I thought that was an awesome attitude towards God that many of us don't have anymore. How often do we put reading our scriptures or saying a prayer aside to sleep, or watch TV? Every single time we have ever talked with Evon, even though she is always in constant pain because of her surgeries and dialysis, she is always making time for us to talk with her for a little while. The only time she turned us away was when she had had a surgery less than 12 hrs prior, and she could barely move due to the pain. (Personally, I wouldn't have moved at all, but she still got up and answered the door to tell us that it wasn't a good time). She's one tough cookie. I love her so much!

We are also teaching this boy who is the grandson to some of the recent converts we have. Since he is still 8 and his mother and grandparents are members, he doesn't technically count as an investigator, but we still go over and teach him because his older siblings and mother are less active. He is so awesome! He is the only one in his family besides his grandfather who stays the entire time for church. He loves learning about the gospel and her reads without any prompting from us both his Book of Mormon and his Holy Bible. He even read something to his sister the other day that really touched her, and she was telling us a little about that. I don't think he realized what an impact it would have had on his sister, but he thought it was a cool verse, and so her shared it with his family. He thinks Joseph Smith is really cool, but he didn't realized that Joseph Smith was "way back in the 1800s!" He's so cute:) He asked us why anyone wouldn't ever want to be in the Celestial Kingdom, because it sounds so awesome, and I agreed with him. It blows my mind sometimes when its not something that people want. I asked him what it meant to him when I said how God is HIS Father in Heaven, and his response was "a lot." He really truly loves Heavenly Father. And he loves the peace and comfort he gets from Him. Heavenly Father is probably one of the main "father figures" that he has in his life, and it occurred to me, that it is so true that He is our Father. He's not just a figure of a father, but really truly our father! And the best part is that He will never fall short of our expectations, and He always knows exactly what is going through our minds at any one point. He is always there for us wherever and whenever we are. I love my earthly father very much, but it is hard sometimes because I can't call him at any point during the day, especially on my mission, but I can always call Heavenly Father, and he always is there to pick up His "phone" to hear about how we are doing and give us the comfort we need.

The other thing he said I also thought was a really awesome response. I asked him what he liked about having body, as opposed to a Spirit, and he said he loved being able to feel comfort and joy, and happiness. At first I thought he had misunderstood my question, but then I realized that it is true. Part of the reason we have gained a body here was to experience all parts of life. To feel pain so we can understand relief. To be sad, so we can appreciate happiness. To struggle in our life, so that we can be comforted. We would not be able to experience so much of what we have in our lives without our bodies. Our Spirits can fell some part of these things, but it is the Spirit and our Body together that we can feel the full effect that this can have on us. Everything we feel in our lives are amplified because of that connection. I love that this little boy reminded me of that, even though he may have still misunderstood my question a little, I love the insight that he gave me from it, because that truly is what he is thankful for in his life. Why I never really thought about that, I don't know, but it is definitely something to think about.

Well, all else is going well here in Warner Robins, Georgia:) Sister Applegate goes home next week, so I will be in a trio next time I email until transfers when I will get a new companion:) Its going to be great!

Love you lots!
-Sister Monica Walker

Monday, August 3, 2015

Be Like Little Children

Dearest Madre,
CHARLES IS TOO CUTE!! Oh that boy! I'm sad I missed out on his major walking habits. I really only saw it for one day before I left for my mission. 

I do think it is really awesome that you have been thinking about how we are supposed to be like little children! I don't remember if I said something about that in my last letter or not, but the past few weeks, that has been what is on my mind as I talk to members. Usually after we eat with them, we leave them with a scripture, and since I got to 3 Nephi, where Christ is talking to the people, I have been stuck on the scripture that tells them to let the little ones come to Him, and then they are ministered unto by angels. So often now we are forgetting who we are actually praying to, and how we are supposed to pray, that a lot of time our prayers, as sincere as they may be, say the same things over and over. While that is not bad, when we do that, we tend to forget the little things in the day, so the invitation we extend to members is to listen to the prayers of their children, hear what they are thankful for, and asking for, and then say prayers along those same lines. It makes our prayers more simple and direct and we start to think more about how maybe we don't need this really big thing because look at all the little things we have! Or whatever.. Anyways. I just thought it was cool that our thoughts were kinda on the same line. Like mother like daughter right?

Evon is still in the hospital in Macon, but should be out on Thursday, and we plan on seeing her after that. We call her every few days to make sure she is still ok and healing, and she really enjoys our phone calls:)

Dad and Robert are the Chapman's home teachers right? That must have been really fun for everyone:) I'm sure they enjoyed having Ben and Josh there too. Especially since it has been a long time since they have really seen them.

I hope they all had fun on the hike! Do you know if any of them jumped off a cliff? When I went to Girl's Camp and did that hike, Dad told me that I should jump off the cliff because all my friends were doing it. Aren't parents usually the ones that tell you not to jump off a cliff when your friends do? I hope he told all of them that too.. Also tell Michael I said hi!

So crazy things happened this week. The craziest was actually on Saturday. We are so stoked and excited for that night because Nina (one of our investigators) was getting baptized. So we are driving around trying to go to all of our appointments, when Sister Applegate does a u-turn at one of the 3 way stops. We do this all the time because other wise I have to get out of the car and back her every time she needs to turn around. So anyways, we are actually on the phone with a member because we were heading to her house to walk with her to an appointment we had, who was her neighbor, but suddenly, my side of the car suddenly dips, and we are stuck. I tell the member we will call her back later and get out, and lo and behold! The right front tire fell into a sewer drain that was kinda hidden, and there was pretty much no way we were going to get out, because the bottom of the car is resting on the top of the drain.. So we run to a nearby house to ask for help, and they came outside and told us not to try to move it because it will probably ruin the car, so we called Elder Cole (Our vehicle coordinator) to get a tow truck for us to get out car out. This family let us come stay in their home (that they were moving into). They were all super nice people, and I learned that one for the couples had just gotten back from a mission for their church from Scotland. They had been there for 20 years!! So crazy. Her name was actually Kathy too, which was cool:) So anyways, we hang out for a while waiting for Elder Cole to call us back and tell us what to do, because they were actually on their way to a baptism, and he needed to go back for all the information. Whoops. Also, we had to call the member back and tell her the lesson was cancelled for the time being, because we had "run into some problems". Haha get it? So we talked with this family, and they were actually house sitting for another couple who had just left for Cambodia, and they were cleaning everything out. They people that actually owned the house had about a million of those dolls, china, porcelain, fabric, etc, and it was kinda creepy. We didn't really teach them anything, because we each got the impression that they wouldn't be very happy with us if we tried to, but we did tell them about missions in general, and we had a wonderful conversation about Jesus, police officers, and cars. Its was pretty fun:) The tow truck got our car out without any hassle and without any damage to the car so we were able to drive it away. It would have been awkward of there had been damage though because we had a baptism that night that President and Sister Cottle were going to, and they wouldn't have been very happy about it.

Oh! The baptism was pretty funny too, because we let Nina pick the songs, and she picked the songs that she liked the words to, so we sang hymn #25 and #32, which basically no one knew. And I had the lead the music. That was scary too, because President Cottle is a fanatic about leading correctly for music, and one of the first things he taught us when we arrived was how to lead music. It was a pretty interesting night. No one really looked at me though, because no one knew the song, so all their eyes were glued to the page. Haha that part was nice.

I love being a missionary! You get some pretty awesome stories:)
Love y'all!!

-Sister Monica Walker