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