Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Book of Mormon

Dearest Mother :)

Oh how much I love to read your letters! It reminds me of the times that we would spend everyday talking about all the stuff we learned in our Sunday classes at church, or after the seminary classes, or our own person study and reflection on the scriptures. I'm so looking forward to that when we get back home too:) I am 10 or so pages away from finishing the Book of Mormon for the 3rd time on my mission, and it has been super awesome to make all sorts of connections this time! I studied this time in a little mini Book of Mormon, which when I finish I will be sending home for Robert in a package with a bunch of letters and some random knickknacks. I encourage y'all to look at it if you get the chance. It's pretty cool. It is in a tiny Book of Mormon though so you might have to have Robert read them to you. I love learning things in the Book of Mormon! There are so many connections in it that I had never put together before, even though it makes completely sense to have it the way it is. Pretty awesome. Also if you haven't yet, I also highly encourage you to read the article Mormon's Miraculous Book in the Feb 2016 edition of the Ensign. It brings new light to how important and amazing the abridging of the Book of Mormon was, and then to think of the miracle that the coming forth of it was as well, What else could it be but of God? Super awesome. I can't say it enough. :)
I was dubbed a princess at a member's home while we waited for dinner.. Super fun! (Little do they know, I really am a princess:))
There is one investigator we have, her name is MC, has had a pretty rough life with the Lord. When she was younger, her sister tragically died in a car accident, and she blamed God for taking her sister at an early age. From that moment and for a really long time, she wasn't very happy with God at all. she thought He was unfair and she didn't like Him at all. Recently she met a cousin she didn't know that she had had, or else a cousin she didn't know very well, who happened to be a Stake President over in Texas. In the last couple of years especially, without her realizing it, she was feeling something missing from her life, and so when her cousin came to meet them one day, she recognized that he had something that she wanted. There was a feeling about him that she liked. She agreed then to meet with the missionaries, and we have been teaching her since. She has a lot of hard trust issues to overcome before she can be baptized, but it is so cool to see her make those little steps that she does to get closer to her Heavenly Father. I love teaching the people here! There are so many that I could talk about, but that would take too much time. So for now that is what I will say. I will think of who I want to talk about next week, and hopefully I remember. :)

I will pray for Dad and Josh and all the rest of you in your various courses of life. All will be well I know it:)

I love you all!! Keep being you! Because you is awesome!

Love Sister Walker:)
I went bowling with an eye patch on, because my eye got super irritated and I wanted to see how hard it was to bowl with an eye patch on.. I GOT A 125! Probably the highest I ever had.. And it was with my left eye, my non-dominant eye.. super crazy.. You have a pretty strange daughter.. but then you have to remember whose daughter I am, and then it all makes sense:) 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Love Reading the Scriptures

Dear Mom,

Transfers were 2 weeks ago. I might not have mentioned it because neither I nor my companion were changed. It's a bit strange to not be a part of transfers.

My companion and I are one of three sets of missionaries in my ward. There is a Spanish set of Elders, and an English set of Elders, and us. I'm almost positive that in this mission, I will never cover more than one ward, and if I am ever by myself in a congregation, its a good chance that it is a branch, or a group. We almost always use our car to get to the different places we have to go, and then walk around for a little bit. It's hard to not use our car because our area from top to bottom is close to 25 miles. And we live closer to the top of the map where there are less people, so it would be hard to not have our car and try to reach the bottom of the map, especially when we don't ride bikes.. if you want to see my area, you can go to maps.lds.org and look up the Rivercrest Ward. Those boundaries are my boundaries. It's only half of Columbus, because the other ward covers the rest and then some..

I think the things I have learned the most, the abilities that have been enhanced as I serve as a missionary, are honestly my abilities to study. I had poor study habits at home, and I never really figured it out, being here on a mission though helped me to learn how to effectively study for myself and or other people. I love those few hours in the morning that I get to study my scriptures and talk to my companion about the things we learn as we study. The scriptures have opened up so much for me! I am on my 3rd reading of the Book of Mormon since I have gotten on my mission, and I am amazed at the connections that I can make from the smallest lines. Here is something I learned this week from my studies, that I was telling my mission president about.

This week has also been very interesting as I have been reading the Book of Mormon again and looking specifically for wisdom and insight that will help me improve myself, and to become more like Christ. I know all these stories. I have heard them my whole life, but the connections I have been making in the past few weeks, are amazing! And they are little things that I should know already, but for whatever reason never connected. For example, in the story of the 2000 stripling warriors, we always talk about the effect their mothers had on them, the spiritual growth and example that they were, but I learned last week that it mentions the fathers too and how they sent provisions to their sons. I knew that, but I thought it was cool that the scriptures mentioned something that the fathers of these 2000 boys did to help them, and to me it was awesome as well because you can see from that that without either of them, they wouldn't have survived. Without provisions, they had no energy. Without the Spirit, they would not survive. Both parents therefore were essential to their surviving the battles they faced. Just like today. Super awesome.

Its cool to see the connections between everything. I will send home the mini Book of Mormon I am using during this reading of it and you can see more of the connections that I have made as I read. Reading the book itself is much different than just hearing the story. There are so many details that you miss by just relating the story. Those ah-ha moments when after reading the connection is made to see that this particular thing relates to this other thing. I don't think I would be able to make these connections as easily had I not been on my mission.. I love [reading] my scriptures! It's super awesome. It brings new light as to why we are supposed to read our scriptures instead of just listen to the stories. Because it isn't the stories that are necessarily the important stuff. Sometimes is the words on the page that will stand out to you in a way that will help you right then and there.

Love you all! Sorry this letter is short..

Sister Walker

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Tying It Into A Gospel Principle

Dearest Mother,

I actually get to email on a Monday this week!! There have been so many holidays it seems, so I feel like it has been a long time since I have emailed on Monday, and then also just so you know, next week my mission president decided to have our Zone Conference on Monday so our P-day is going to be Tuesday. (So no email until Tuesday).

That is so awesome that you used the training I gave a few weeks ago in your seminary class! It didn't really go as planned when I did it with my district either, but it was really cool to see the outcomes that could occur, and how you can still tie that in to the gospel. One thing I have loved that you helped install in me is the ability to tie anything to a gospel principle. It helps a lot when I am trying to talk to other people about the gospel, and they start to go into tangents about the weirdest things, and as long as I know what they are talking about, then I am able to tied it back into the gospel. The hardest part is tying it not just into anything, but to specific principles. For example, tying in Star Wars to the principle of how Heavenly Father loves us. If I can do it though, it helps me understand the investigator or the person we are teaching better though because we will start with whatever principle, and somehow it made them think of the tangent they went on, and if I can make a connection back to whatever principle we are trying to discuss then it helps me understand better how this person thinks, and what would be most effective in getting their attention, and allowing the Spirit to direct as needed. It's an interesting exercise to do, and I want to practice it more, because it is fun trying to get it all together, where everyone is on the same page. There are so many skills we learn as youth and children that I never really thought I would use as a missionary. Its a wonderful blessing to be able to recognize the help that my Heavenly Father has given me throughout my life to help prepare me for where I am right now with the people I am with in this very moment. Kinda cool..

So a short funny story.. Our dishwasher exploded bubbles last Friday for no apparent reason.. It was a good thing we were home planning otherwise we probably would have come home hours later to a kitchen filled with bubbles. So I spent two hours cleaning the floor and behind the fridge from all the grime and water and bubbles, while my companion continued planning. It was an interesting but super disgusting experience. Cleaning under refrigerators are not something I like to do, especially when I can't identify what some of the stuff is that I am cleaning up.. (especially when I have to be on my hands and knees to clean it). 

Other funny thing was that this morning when Sister Maher had her clothes running in the washing machine, it started in the spin cycle, and we heard a clunk, and then it was making a lot of noise, that it hadn't ever done before. So basically it was an affirmation that our apartment is old and all the appliances are starting to fail.. I wonder if the warranties are expiring..

Oh and also our oven burns our cookies anytime we try to make cookies.. So that's fun too.. Our microwave seems to be working ok though even though its also super old.. Hopefully it will last for the next while (at least until I leave.)..

I am glad the family is doing well! And how exciting to hear that Jake is getting married!! So exciting!! and Veronica too? Who too? I might actually know who that one is, unless things have changed since I left on my mission..

Also, I was emailing Hollie, and she told me that Tristine had a baby!! so exciting! It is kinda weird to think of how life moves on while you are on a mission though. But all is good.

Love you forever!
-Sister Walker

PS 80 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Until her 20th birthday].