Life is just a Rollercoaster

Hiya all!
 
Another great week in the UK! Each and everyday is so enjoyable. I love it! With that being said, I am FREEZING. Winter has officially hit. It dropped below freezing earlier this week and with the wet air and almost constant mist/rain it feels COLD. At least I have a few extra pounds to keep me warm!
 
Honestly, this past week I don’t think anything crazy unusual happened! That’s a first! Maybe it did, maybe I am just getting so used to it that I don’t even notice anymore. We did have an exciting event in our church ward this week though! It was an auction! Now when I think of an auction, I think of the typical auction in which people bid against one another for items of particular interest. In other words, they bid for things that people actually want. At this auction, however, there were no such items. Even though there were no real items for bid, it was still hilarious to see people get so competitive for the smallest things. For example, a batch of brownies and other desserts made by one of the moms started at a price of £1 ($1.72). By the end, the bronwnies and desserts sold for £82! That’s nearly $150! Crazy I know, but it was for a good cause.
 
Although this week has been a great one, it has definately had its ups and downs. As I sit and think about how up and down this week has been, I can’t help but think of how running was the same way. One day I’d be injured and complaining. The next I’d be healthy and happy. The next I’d be sick and slow and upset. This pattern of ups and downs continued the entire year almost without fail. From these ups and downs, however, I learned that that is just the way life goes; life is a rollercoaster. There are many of you out there right now who are at the top of the rollercoaster and there are just as many who are at the bottom. For the ones at the top, love it! And stay there! For the ones at the bottom, love it! And enjoy it while it last! Ok, now you may be confused as to why I say love it even when you are at the bottom. It is because when we are at our lowest point is when we are most teachable. It is in these moments that we can truly reflect on what we can do to help our situation and truly focus on what it is that we can learn and change. Don’t get me wrong, it is ok to be sad or stressed or whatever else you may be. But don’t let that distract you from the true opportunity to learn and grow!
 
There are a wonderful couple of scriptures in the Bible that come to mind. They are in 2 Corinthians and read:
 
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed…For our light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far mor exceeding and eternal weight of glory”
 
Let us all decide to learn from bad experiences. Let us decide to love the moments when things seem down because we know that they will be but for a moment! I hope one or two of you will benefit from this! Oh yea, and have a happy and safe Halloween!
 
With Love,
Elder Walker

Share the Desserts!

Hello Hello Hello!
 
My friends! First off, I love you all. Now that we have that established, this week has been great! Still learning lots and meeting many new people! In terms of crazy stories, the craziest thing yet happened to us this week, but its sorta too crazy to really tell the whole world about. All that really matters is that the people here in England are really supportive people!
 
I do have a nice story that I would like to share though. Yesterday, Elder Taotua and I were invited over to dinner at one of the families in our area. This family is one of the kindest families I have ever met. There’s Mama, Papa, then their two young children, Jacob (age 5) and Sarah (age 6). As we ate we shared experiences and got to know one another. At the end of dinner, it was time for dessert. Until that point the children had been on their best behavior. Suddenly, Jake started screaming and crying and ran upstairs. Elder Taotua and I were confused, but Mama quickly explained that because Jacob had been bad the previous night, he was told that he was not allowed to have dessert that night. Elder Taotua and I felt relly bad for him and felt even worse for the parents because we could see that it was killing them on the inside to see little Jake so unhappy. Finally, they started to fold and called him back downstairs. He sat staring at his mom and watched his sister happily eat her dessert. Then things got interesting. The mom looked at her daughter and said “Sarah, Mommy told Jake that he couldn’t have his dessert because he was bad last night, BUT I don’t care what YOU do with yours.” Now, it was obvious that the mom was providing an opportunity for Sarah to share her dessert with her suffering brother. Sarah didn’t quite catch on however, and said “OK!” Then continued to eat her dessert unbothered by Jacob’s staring eyes. The mom, feeling agonized that her son was suffering and that Sarah missed the point, tried again. She said, “Sarah. Listen closely. Jacob is not allowed to have HIS dessert because he was bad last night. BUT I do not care if you want to share you dessert with him so that he doesn’t have to be so sad.” Sarah looked at her mom for a couple seconds and we were all sure that she had got it this time. She then looked at Jake. After a couple seconds, she turned back to her dessert and dug right in. Feeling like the situation was hopeless, the mother told Sarah what she should have done and told her because she wouldn’t help her brother, she wouldn’t be allowed to have anymore dessert. Sarah, realizing she was going to be out of dessert soon and realizing that she would want more, quickly gave the rest of her dessert to Jake and in turn got some more herself.
 
This was a funny and enlightening experience to me. I love the fact that in the end the kids were able to work together to help each other. I also love the fact that the mommy provided a way for them to both be benefited. Now this applies directly to each of us. Though we may laugh at how the little girl missed the obvious point, we are all guilty of the exact same thing. I am quite sure that there are many times in each of our lives when Heavenly Father puts opportunities in our path where we could help someone in distress or suffering. Sometimes, the opportunities are strikingly obvious, however, we are to engulfed in our own desserts. Friends, let us be more aware of those around us. Let’s be sure we don’t miss that opportunity to help someone else. Let’s serve those in need. As we do so we will come to learn that “when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17).
 
I sure hope that we can all find and serve at least ONE person this week! Love you all!
 
With love,
Elder Walker

Missed a week! But more new experiences and life lessons from God!

Hiya hiya friends!
It has been too long! I wasn’t able to write last week sorry! It was transfer week and so Elder Ditzler got transferred to Northern England. So now it’s just Elder Taotua and I. But I have lots of neat things to tell you all about! First off, I am really starting to like Fish and Chips. It’s not good. Pretty soon I’ll be way too fat to run even a little bit. Which reminds me! I tried running on Saturday for the first time since I arrived in England! I ran for 3 minutes, then stopped. I was dead. Sad, I know. But, I’ll worry about that later! I weigh a whopping 11 stone 1 (155 lbs) so I’ve gained all the weight back that I lost when I got sick. I feel healthy though so that’s all that really matters!
As usual, it just wouldn’t be a very good week if something crazy didn’t happen. First off, we saw that big bully kid again. Except this time he was all by himself. So, as we walked up to him we could see him started to try to walk away. but we called out to him, reassuring him that we just wanted to set things right. We shook his hand, had a laugh with him, and told him to stay out of trouble. Then we went our separate ways. Now every time we see him he gives a very warm hello with a wave! See, I knew he was a good kid! Haha. Even though we did a good thing in making friends with him, it didn’t stop us from getting rained on. We were out knocking doors with no umbrella when suddenly it starts pouring on us. Too busy, we kept going and ended up dripping and freezing from head to toe. And no one still let us in! Haha its ok though, we dried out eventually. The crazy part about that is that we didn’t learn from it. A couple days later we were again out knocking doors and it was a beautiful, sunny day. Within a matter of minutes, it started pouring rain and got very very cold. Feeling used to it and not too bothered by the rain and cold, we kept knocking doors. the next thing we knew, we were getting hailed on! So we found cover and waited it out. It was not fun. I think I’m going to carry an umbrella at all times no matter what from now on.
Apart from making new friends and getting rained and hailed on, we also met a variety of people who don’t even speak English this week. One of them was a Polish home. We knocked and they opened up. It didn’t take long for us to realize we couldn’t understand each other. We showed them the Book of Mormon, and all of a sudden the man hugged both of us and got his girlfriend to take a picture of us… It was really strange, but we just left them because the conversation was going no where. We also met a man from China. He had only bee in the UK for 2 weeks and didn’t speak hardly any English. I knew how to say “I know Jesus Christ lives” in Mandarin but that’s about it. So that conversation went no where either. The last different language lady we met was from Iraq! She spoke a little English, but mostly Assyrian. But, the conversation still went well! She even let us in her home to look at pictures of Jesus. Nice lady.
Aside from all of these strange experiences, I did have some powerful spiritual moments. A week ago from yesterday was General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (mormons). This conference, which happens twice per year, is a broadcast around the whole world in which we can hear from our living prophet and apostles. The big news from this years conference was in regards to missionary work and missionary age in particular. Before Sunday, the ages were 19 for young men and 21 for young women. The ages are now 18 for young men and 19 for young women. What an exciting announcement! With this exciting news, I couldn’t help but think of all the soon to be younger missionaries around the world. As I thought about this, I felt joy for how much happiness they will gain from their mission. This thought led me to this week’s scripture of the week. It is from the Doctrine and Covenants Section 31:3. It reads:
“Lift up your hearts and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare glad tidings of great joy unto this generation.”
How true this scripture is! To all of you who are thinking about serving a mission or not, I want you to know that a mission is great! It truly is a cause to rejoice because it will be the best times of your life. That’s my opinion of course, but you can find out for yourself!
Well gatta go! Until next time!
With Love,
Elder Walker

Trust in God

Hello like!
Well another week has passed already! I don’t know about you all but to me it seemed like only 3 days have passed. Time is going so fast! This week did have some highlights though! First of all, when most American think of British food they think of …..? Most of you probably instantly thought “Fish and Chips, duh.” Well i finally had traditional Fish and Chips the right way. And let me tell you, they were soooo good. MmMmM. If you are ever in England, get Fish and Chips. Not only did I have Fish And Chips this week, but I also returned to my roots and chomped on some Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Oh yea. And it was so worth the £26 pounds ($42) that the three of us spent. that’s enough about food though.
Other than that, Elder Ditzler caught the nasty sickness that I had a bit ago and as a result stayed in for a day. Elder Taotua and I never realized how much we needed Elder Ditzler until that day. As Elder Taotua and I headed to Kelly Higgin’s home for tea (dinner), Elder Taotua didn’t turn fast enough to avoid a curb. As a result the tyre (tire) popped… So we had to quickly change the tyre. Then once we go to Kelly’s we remembered that Elder Ditzler wasn’t with us so that we weren’t even allowed to eat inside her home! As a result we ate outside. In the FREEZING cold. Haha it was a lot of fun though since kelly was such a great host. To sum it all up properly, Elder Ditzler is our good luck charm.
Fun fun fun. But aside from all the crazy things that have happened this week, I have witnessed yet again another miracle. A few days ago, my companions and I were in a particular neighborhood knocking doors. For nearly 3 straight hours we hadn’t had much sucess. We had several quality conversations with people, but only set up a few appointments and hadn’t been invited into one home.As we came to the last home, I felt that we should stop and say a prayer. As we prayed in the middle of street, we expressed our desires to Heavenly Father to find someone willing to listen in this last home. We also prayed that this person would become a new investigator who would want to learn of the gospel. With the praying being done, and feeling faithful that Heavenly father would deliver, we knocked on the door. A few moments later, a young man around 18 years of age opened the door. What happened next was a miracle. As we spoke we asked him what one question he would ask God if given the chance. Although he didn’t have a firm belief that God was real, he said, “I have always wanted to know how I can be forgiven of things I do wrong.” This was no coincidence. We explained to him Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and how through that it allows us to be forgiven. He was really excited and was invited to baptism. He accepted. I know that this young man was prepared by the Lord. I know that the Holy Spirit touched his heart as we spoke to him. I know that although there is much for him to learn, as long as he has that desire to progress, he will be blessed.
Friends, miracles do happen. Prayers are answered. This leads me to the scripture of the week. It is in the Book of Mormon and is found in Mormon 9:19-21. It reads:
19 And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.
 20 And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.
 21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.
We are ALL promised that though faith and trust in God, anything is possible. it is my hope and prayer that we can all grow in that faith and trust. It is something I work on daily! I better go, but I love you all! Until next week!
With love,
Elder Walker