Lynne’s Baptism!

Lynne's Baptism!

Miracles do happen! Lynne is such a sweet lady! She has taken the leap of faith and decided to be baptised. Her baptism was one of the happiest days of my life simply because of the joy with which she glowed. She is truly grateful of the decision she has made and she has given Elder Maljanen and I a great Christmas gift simply by allowing us to be a part of it all.

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

Christmas is best as a missionary! Sure, we may not have the biggest Christmas tree, and we may not get many gifts. But that is not what it is all about! What is the real reason for the season? You know the answer (See Isaiah 9:6). And what did He always do? He gave, gave, and gave some more. So let us give gifts of joy and happiness! But also, let us receive joyously and graciously! By so doing, we will all have a wonderful Christmas season!

Serve Others

Hiya hiya!
Hello everyone! I hope that you are all excited for Christmas! I definately am! Here in England it is getting way too cold. The pond at the back of our flat (apartment) has frozen! I never thought I would live in a place so cold!! I guess I was wrong! Although it is freezing, Elder Maljanen and I are still roaming the streets speaking to everyone! The only difference is we can sing now too! In English or Finnish, Joy to the World! Ok, so we aren’t always as energetic as I make us sound, but we do have a good time.
In terms of food (as always), I have now had fish and chips so many times that it makes me sick when I eat it. Yep. I have had it two or three times too many. I do have a new favourite though. And it is Finnish chocolate. It is so so good. My favorite would have to be the blueberry filled ones. Lucky for us Elder Maljanen’s family sent him loads of chocolate a few days ago! It will literally last us months! And it will force us to run in the mornings too because I’d rather eat the chocolate and run over just not eating it.
This week we have truly seen disappointments and we have truly seen miracles. I won’t anything about the disappointments, but the miracles are always fun to hear! Last week we met a lady who recently lost her husband and as a result spends a lot of time alone at home, with no one to speak with or help her do her everyday things. She is in her mid 80s and is one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met. Earlier this week, we went over to her home to help her straighten out some things in her back garden (yard). Though we really did want to help her, we did not want to be outside for 2 hours picking at frozen soil. Putting our feelings aside, we prepared to help her in any way possible. As she took her into her back garden she pointed at a tree about 12 feet high. The semi-thin tree had somehow sprouted from nowhere and had grown through the cinderblocks that made up her walkway. She asked if we could get rid of it. We told her we would love to, and she went back inside. For the next 20 minutes, we looked for tools to get the job done. All we could find was a hand saw, a spade, and a screwdriver. For the following 90 minutes we cut, hit, stabbed, pulled and did everything else we could do to get rid of the tree and its roots. During the process, we both realized something. We realized that we were laughing like mad men and that we were actually having fun. Feeling confused by the sudden change, we tried to pin-point exactly what ti was that was making us feel that way. We realized that is was simply the pure joy of serving someone else.
That night as we talked about the day, we both felt that the highlight had been digging through the frozen ground with our numb fingers trying to deroot that tree. Now some of you might think that it’s because we are just kids who love playing in the dirt. I know better. I know that when we serve others we can find true happiness. In this Christmas season, let us all seek to serve someone! And lets not do it hoping and expecting to receive something back from that person in return. Instead lets seek to give and never remember, but receive and never forget.
With love,
Elder Walker702065_10151153058167555_1299322204_n(Me at a Christmas gathering!)

With Love

Hello!
 
What a good week. E. Maljanen and I started running in the mornings! 10 minutes is all we’ve got right now, but pretty soon we will step it up to 14 minutes! Oh yes. Other than running and feeling great, I’m learning some good ole Finnish! I’ll be fluent by the time I get home. This week, we also had the opportunity to go to the temple in Preston, England! What a beautiful place! It was a very enjoyable visit. While we were in Preston, we also got to meet with Sister Walker and her husband President Walker, the Preston MTC president! They were a lot of fun and taught us some good things! As a side note, Sister Walker is actually Gordon B. Hinkcley’s daughter! She shared with us a lot of stories of her childhood and how her dad always walked around the home singing around Christmas time. Back then she didn’t understand why he was always singing, but she said that as she has gotten older she has figured out the secret!
 
Apparently singing and music in general has all kind of positive effects on the body, mind, and spirit! Assuming it is halfway descent music of course. Anyways, Christmas is coming soon and I don’t know about you all, but I am really excited! This will be my first Christmas in the UK! it will be interesting to see how it goes.
 
So what miracles have I seen this week? Hm, so the first full day E. Maljanen and I were companions, we were trying to decide where we should go knock doors. We knew that if we picked a place without praying, it would most likely result in cold fingers and a lot of slammed doors in our face, so, we both looked at the map as we said prayers in heart. After a couple minutes, I asked him where he felt we should go. Of the entire, massive map, he picked the EXACT same two streets that I had pre-determined in my mind. What’s more is that the two streets weren’t even close to one another! Feeling excited we went that day and knocked one of the streets. We met a couple of nice people, but the results weren’t much different from usual. 
 
Well, a few days ago, we finally made it around to the other street we had felt we should go. And on the very first door we knocked, a man opened up who looked quite stressed. As we spoke and got to know him, he told us that his wife had died 7 weeks ago, and that he had lost all hope of there being a God. As we spoke and tried to help him, we were all eventually overcome with emotion. We wept together and tried to help him understand that there is so much more. Though I didn’t even know this man, I felt as if I had known him for years and sincerely felt pain at the fact that he didn’t ever expect to see his wife again. Before long, he softened, he began to trust us as he felt our sincerity, and eventually he gained that hope of more.
 
Now that man may never go to church, he may never meet with missionaries. He may never be baptised or read the Book of Mormon. But missionary work is a lot more than simply how many people we help come to church or choose to be baptised. Missionary work is loving, serving, and uplifting those hands which hang hopelessly down. 
 
It is my hope and prayer that we can all find those that need our help and serve them in any way possible.
 
With love,
Elder Walker