Monday, September 26, 2016

Women's General Conference Session

To my Wonderful Favorite  Mother in the Whole Wide World!!!

I love you:) Like a lot:) 

We had the opportunity to go watch the Women's Session of General Conference this last Saturday, and there were so many wonderful things that I learned!! One really important thing that I knew, but I was reminded of was how grateful I was to you and the example that you have been for me. I am so grateful that you have had a firm foundation in the gospel and that you helped build that in me. I know for a fact that I would not be here on a mission if it was not for that example to me. I love how you have taught me to be the best I can, and you expect me to do the best I can because you know that I can be like that. You pushed me to learn and to grow into who I am today. I am also so grateful for Daddy in teaching me (and then reminding me all the time) what a young woman should be. How I should act. He taught me to value myself and hold firm to my beliefs. He taught me not to be proud, but rather just remember my divine heritage as a daughter of a Heavenly King, and as such how I should act. I love you two for the things you have taught, for the character you have helped me developed, or the many other things I cannot even begin to describe of the effect that you have had on me. I love you two for being MY parents. I wouldn't have anyone else. :) I think all the time about how my actions would change if you or Dad were there, and many times I try to think of what you both would do and I try to do it. I had the sweetest compliment the other day from my companion about this, which is also why I was thought about all of this. 

Once upon a time, we were driving along in the car and she was telling me about an instance she had with someone who she had previously had a hard time talking to. Not because she doesn't like talking to people, but because this person sometimes can be rude or frustrating in conversations. We both recently made a goal to be this persons friend, and to help them understand that the way they speak sometimes is not appropriate for conversation, and even though we know they don't mean it, they are an adult and are capable of speaking nicely. Anyway, it was really cool, because when we were in the car, my companion leaned over to me and said something, but I didn't catch much of it because I was distracted, so I asked her to repeat it. She told me that in the last interaction she had with this person that they said something that upset her, and she was going to react in the way she normally does, but she thought in her mind "What would Sister Walker do?" and then changed her response to what she thought I would do in that situation. It was seriously one of the nicest compliments I have gotten ever. I honestly don't know what my response would have been in that same situation, and I know that I don't have an endless supply of patience like I sometimes wish I did, but it was really cool to have her tell me that she thought of my being patient with people when she was trying to be patient. That made my heart happy.. and then she and I cried because we love each other. the end... haha.. it was pretty funny, but very sweet of her. I really do love her a lot for it.

She and I have talked a lot in recent weeks about the image that we give to others. What is the first impression that people have, and what is the things that are most apparent and that they will remember? For example, to me the things that I noticed about her right off was her love for people. Whether it was mutual acquaintances that we have, or people I didn't know that she did, she loves everyone! She doesn't judge anyone for anything that she hears. She bases her judgments off of the interactions that she has with them, and even then she gives them the benefit of the doubt. She is funny, she is sweet, she is always happy and smiling. She gets excited about the randomest things and it will then make everyone else happy. She radiates with her testimony and from the other things that I have seen of her, and the stories that I have heard from her about her life, I know that she has a very firm belief in this gospel. She loves the Book of Mormon, and is seriously wiling to go through a lot of ridicule to keep it. She is awesome.

She told me that the image I give off is slightly intimidating... haha... not because I am scary or anything, but because she can tell that I hold myself to a high standard, and that I am intelligent. She said its intimidating because most people aren't like that. It just reminded me of the different scriptures that talk about the Lord's people being a peculiar people. How we will be set apart from the world, and it will be noticed. I am far far away from perfection, and I know there are many things that I have to work on, but it is cool to see all the different people that I meet, and I see the same things in others. My companion being one of them. The is most definitely a difference in the people that truly are followers of Christ and those that are just the Sunday worshipers.

This is where everything ties back in. The talks that were given during the Women's Session reminded me a lot of this conversation that I had with my companion, and who we are and who we are representing. They encouraged all of us to continue to grow our testimonies, and to do our best to secure them in the bedrock of Christ. So that when storms beat down on us, that we will be able to hold firm in our beliefs. We were also told to be that example to others that the Lord knew we could be. We were admonished to be the best mothers we can and the best daughters and the best wives, etc. Whatever the role that we have now is what we need to be working on. Promises given by the Lord will come to fruition if and only if we keep doing what we are supposed to do! Faith and trust in the Lord is so key! We must at the very least understand that the Lord is only ever trying to help us, and anything that He asks us to do is because that will be the greatest for us. I really do love the gospel. I'm so excited for what will happen in the future!! So much potential!

Love you all! I hope you have a wonderfully fantastic week!!
Love, your most favoritest child in the whole wide world,

Sister Monica Walker

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Back in Columbus!

Dearest Mother:)

I am back in Columbus!! This was the place that I left 6 months ago to go to Albany, and now I just left Albany and I came right back! This time though it is in the other ward in Columbus, so it isn't exactly the same, but its still pretty close. We had stake conference this last weekend and it was kind of funny because I knew more people there then my companion did. Three people in the other ward I was in even offered to feed us dinner or lunch sometime.. Haha it was nice to know that I was missed and that people still remember me here:) The ward I am in now if the Flat Rock Ward, and my companion is Sister O'Brien. She is from Hawaii, and I'm pretty sure this is the first companionship I have ever had where one of us is not from Utah or Idaho.. Really all we need is to be in a trio with someone from Florida and then we have all the vacation states.. haha I thought that was funny. It has been pretty cool though, because this companionship is a lot like the one I had with Sister Danible. With Sister Danible, it was cool because she left the Rivercrest Ward 6 weeks before I got there, and then when I got to my new area in Albany, she was my companion, and we could talk all day about the Rivercrest ward. Here my companion is Sister O'Brien, and again, she had just left Albany 6 weeks before I got there, and my next area, which is ironically Columbus again, she is my companion!! So it has been fun to catch up with her about Albany and also to hear some of the updates of the Columbus wards.. I love Sister O'Brien though! We became friends almost within an hour of meeting each other, and we are still friends a week later.. haha.. so I am excited to see where this is going to take us in the next few weeks. It is entirely likely that she will be my last companion and that she will be the one that will see me off, and I love it. She is pretty much obsessed with Star Wars. I gave her a Star Wars puzzle and she almost freaked out on me. It was funny. She is an awesome person though, and we already have found a good rhythm in our teaching where both of us are teaching and testifying and participating pretty equally in all the lessons that we have. She makes me happy:) I have decided about this area though that I haven't seen as many sketchy areas as I did in Columbus. Perhaps that is because the Elders cover those areas here, but it does make it seem a little bit different, even if I recognize a lot of the people.

Alex sent me pictures of all of them, their family pictures are adorable! I love them so much. I can't wait to see them again! It will be fun to meet Henry for the first time. I love my family:)

That is so cool that all of you got to go to the Sacramento temple! I vaguely remember going there for the open house. I know I remember thinking the ceilings were really high, but I was also smaller, so I don't really know how tall they are.. haha. Didn't Alex go through the Sacramento temple for her endowments when the Oakland temple was closed last time? And did something happen to it to need major repairs? or did it just get old? 

This last weekend we had the opportunity like I said before to have Stake Conference. The cool thing about this Stake Conference was that there was going to be a General Authority there. This is the second time in a short span of time that I get to meet not just one but three of the General authority 70s. The one that spoke this last Stake Conference that I attended is a recently called General Authority named Elder Peter F. Meurs. He is from Australia, and he gave wonderful talks with his wife on the Atonement and the power of it. His wife shared a story that I thought really put into perspective for me repentance and how it works. Forgive me if I tell it wrong, but the general idea of it will be the same:)

-There was once a boy named Johnny who had recently been given a slingshot to play with. One day he decided to practice using his slingshot and spent a long time trying to hit his target of the trees. He continuously missed, and eventually got tired so started to make his way home. He had almost made it all the way home when he spotted a duck. Thinking to try his luck one more time, he shot at the duck. Surprising to him, he managed to hit the duck. Sadly, the rock hit the duck and killed it. Devastated, and knowing that he would be in trouble for killing the duck, he took the duck and hid it behind the woodpile in their backyard. After hiding it, he looked up to see his sister, Sally, watching him. She told him she saw what he did with the duck but that she wouldn't tell. Later that evening, his grandma was asking Sally to come help her with the dishes, Sally responded with "I would love to come help you with the dishes, but Johnny told me earlier today that he wanted to help with the dishes tonight." and then leaned over to her brother and whispered "Remember the duck!" Grudgingly, but a little guiltily Johnny went and helped his grandma with the dishes. The next day their family was going fishing, but the grandma told them that she needed Sally to stay home with her to help her prepare dinner. Sally again told her grandma that she would, but that Johnny had expressed a desire for him to help earlier to her. Again she whispered "Remember the duck!" After a few days of Johnny not only doing his chores, but Sally's as well, he finally went up to his grandma and confessed what he had done with the duck. His grandma looked him lovingly in the eye, and said "I know, I was standing at the window and saw it all happen. I was just wondering how long you were going to let Sally make a slave out of you." 

I thought that was a wonderful story! Because how true it is. Heavenly Father is much like the grandma who is watching out the window who sees it all happen, but is waiting for us to come to him to tell him. If this boy had only gone to his grandma earlier, he would have been spared the anguish of doing so many more chores. He would have been able to do all the fun things that he missed out on because his sister made him her slave. If only we would learn to immediately turn to our Father in Heaven when we do something wrong. We cannot hide it. He has already seen us do it. Our hiding it only causes more pain for us. What a powerful example of repentance though. Although I knew it, and I understood its significance, this made it hit a lot more home then usual.

I wish I had more time to tell you more about it, but again, time has run out. Remember that I love you all and I appreciate everything that you do for me everyday:)
Make today a great day!

Sister Monica Walker

Monday, September 5, 2016

Last Transfer

Dearest Mother,

News of the week-I'm getting transferred!! Both sisters in my area will be leaving because my companion went home today. I am currently sitting in the family history center in Perry, GA with Sister Danible and Sister Blackburn. I get to crash with them until tomorrow morning when I find out who my new companion is and where I am going. That's why I get to email today even though it is still a holiday because they have a key to get to the Family History Center computers. Yay!! 

Yes there was a "storm" last week. I was honestly kind of excited for it, but it really didn't come my way at all, we just watched the clouds move over us, and then it rained one night. However as a precaution, our mission president told all of us in the mission that we had to stay in our apartments until about 2 or 3 Friday morning, which made that day super hectic because we had appointments about an hr away at noon, so we had to push them until after President's lockdown ended, and before our other appointments that we had in Albany later that afternoon and evening. It was pretty amazing though, because even though we were rushed for time, we were able to see three of the referrals that we had there in Cuthbert, and every single one of them not only accepted a Book of Mormon, but also really wanted us to come back. I thought that was super awesome! We somehow still managed to see everyone that we planned on seeing, which was awesome too. Despite everything being pushed back about 4 hours. That was definitely a tender mercy, and something the Lord really wanted us to do. Other then that though, there wasn't really any other affects of the storm. From what I hear, there was a lot of worry about it, but it really didn't hurt anyone or anything.

Sister McCulloch arrived at the mission home ok and as now boarding the plane as I type this. Her flight leaves shortly after 11. In a few hours her family will be welcoming her home! Super exciting for her:)

I can't believe you sold the van!! that is so crazy to me!! Do you two just drive the truck and car now? Or is there another vehicle? I remember either last week or the week before you were talking about how both vehicles had been damaged by some form of a wreck.. I assume those two you are still keeping?

It is interesting that you mentioned the notes you took on a scripture that you don't remember anymore. I had a member that I knew in one of my areas who had lost a good part of his memory, but he still writes down his thoughts and impressions of his reading of the Book of Mormon, and he still tries his hardest to continue learning everything because he knows that eventually he will get all this information and knowledge back, but as long as he is learning something new everyday, when he finally gets to remember all the things he learned he says he is going to be pretty well off in intelligence.. I thought that was funny, but also a really smart idea.

Not much happened last week other then that because we were saying goodbye to a lot of people. I didn't get to say goodbye to very many people even though I had been told about 12 hrs ahead of everyone else because we already had plans for a good majority of the day. So that was sad, but it is ok, I will be able to find them all later when I get home from my mission. I was also hard to say goodbye to some people because many members went to Louisiana to help with a cleanup service there. So there weren't that many people at church on Sunday or home of Saturday either.

I will send a better email tomorrow when I have more things to talk about, but for now, I love you all!!

-Sister Monica Walker