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.