Life Is Wonderful

Hello Hello Hello!
I hope you all had a good week! Halloween is coming up so I am sure that you have gotten your mask and your makeup and your costumes and your wigs and everything else! And if you haven’t just yet, I am sure that you will soon! I get to be a missionary for Halloween! *Cheese* ūüôā It doesn’t get any better than that. Does it?!?!
So this week has been fun as always. Especially serving with a Swede, there is never a dull moment. I realized something this week though; that most week’s of my mission seems to have their own little theme. In other words, it seems that each week there is¬†one question that is asked more frequently than the other weeks. This week it seemed to be, “Why do bad/hard things happen?” I would ask another question to answer that one, “Why are¬†we here?” Are we here to experience only the¬†shine without the rain? To experience only joy without sorrow? To experience only warmth without cold? To smile, never to cry? What kind of experience would life be if only the “easy” or the “good”¬†happened? Having never experiences anything else, would “good” or “easy” really be good or easy at all?
To answer this question I want to use language we can all understand. It comes from a song written by Jason Mraz. The title is “Life is Wonderful.” This song explains quite poetically and quite¬†beautifully exactly what life really is all about.¬†A couple¬†of the verses read:
“It takes a night to make it dawn.
It takes a day to make you yawn.
It takes some cold to know the sun,
It takes some old to make you young
It takes the one to have the other…
It takes the dust to have it polished.”
“It takes some silence to make sound.
It takes some lost, before you found it.
It takes a road to go no where,
It takes a toll to make you care.
It takes a hole to see a mountain.”
Can you understand? Do you understand? Life is about growth. About experiencing one so that we can truly appreciate the other. Some of us may wonder,¬†“If life will be hard either way, why spend time worshipping and getting to know¬†God? What help will He be, to me?” The answer is this; that God is not there to make life easy or to prevent bad things from happening. God is there to make life worth it, and to strengthen us when the bad things inevitably happen.¬†So what do we do? We find joy in every situation by seeing the hope and the growth that forms in us through the light of Christ.
I love you all and pray for you all! *Cheese* ūüôā
Elder Walker

Gut feelings

Hello friends!
I hope you all enjoyed your week and had a good time doing whatever it is you do. I am sure you did! It hasn’t been very long since you all heard from me so please forgive me if I bore you! I will do my best to share true experiences that have happened to me since just the last time you heard from me, 3 days ago! Now before my mission, I don’t remember having spiritual experiences very often. They were very rare and far between. Now, it seems like a day doesn’t go by that¬†I don’t have such an experience! I will tell you why¬†I think that is, but first, a story!
Just yesterday, Elder Wirtala and I were climbing into the car after teaching a lesson in someone’s home. As we did however, I saw a lady on the opposite side of the street walking and talking on the phone. Instantly, I¬†felt¬†like I should talk to her. But, that it would be awkward and making the excuse that I was already in the car, I started to close the door. BUT, suddenly I remembered that these seemingly small and simple feelings ought not be ignored, and ran out to speak to her before she got away. As I said hello, she looked at me and asked what I wanted. I told her that I was a missionary and felt like I should say hello to her. She told me she was on the phone in a harsh manner, and walked away. Feeling disappointed that she did not listen, but still grateful that¬†I had responded to a spiritual feeling or prompting, I returned to the car. When I reached the car, I heard her yelling after me. I turned around, and to my amazement, she was walking back to speak to us! We had a great conversation and she shared that she had recently returned to drinking and that she needs help. She asked if we could meet with her sometime soon. We said of course, took her details down, and will be seeing Vanessa soon! Coincedence? I think not! Miracle?¬†I think so!
Now I wish¬†I could tell you how many times this exact same thing has happened. All from a small¬†feeling. Are feelings to be trusted? Are feelings really something to act upon? All I can do is tell you what I have noticed. Like I said, it seems like now a day doesn’t go by that I don’t have a spiritual experience. Am I simply having more spiritual rewards because I am on a mission? Maybe, but I think the greater reason is because I now pay attention tofeelings. At home, I didn’t focus on feelings so much. I was too busy and doing too much and focused too much on the wrong things to ever give heed to a small, quiet feeling. As a result, I don’t doubt that I missed many opportunities at having some sort of spiritual experience. So again I ask, are feelings to be trusted? Are they something to act upon? I think so! I say absolutely! But, as always, I make my disclaimer, if you don’t believe me, fine. BUT, you go try it. Listen and focus on¬†feelings. Act on the good ones, don’t act on the bad ones.¬†Take a look¬†on the result both in your life and in others¬†and see what you notice.¬†I promise, it will be the same thing¬†I have noticed.
I love you all! Enjoy this week!
Elder Walker

Loyalty

Tjenare!
 
Hello friends! As you can tell¬†I have started off with a new language! Can you guess what language it is? To save you the time of searching on Google or giving up, I will tell you! It is Swedish! And how do I know how to say “hello” in Swedish? Well, because I have a Swedish companion! Yep that’s right, transfers have happened and I have gotten a new companion. His name is Elder Wirtala and we actually came to England at the same time! So it’s exciting to see how we have both progressed and grown since first arriving 14 months ago.
 
I want to start with a poem today. Unusual I know, but here it is.
 
“Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb.
Mary had a little lamb that grew into a sheep.
One day it joined the Mormon church, Mormon church, Mormon church.
One day it joined the Mormon church and died of lack of sleep.”
 
What?! It died of lack of sleep?! Hold on, just one minute. Before you decide you will NEVER join the “Mormon” church, just hear me out. So, what does this light-hearted little poem mean? To find out, let’s examine just exactly what it means to be a Latter-Day Saint Christian.
 
As expressed and explained beautifully just last week by President Dieter F. Uchtorf, being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ is full of things to do. Included in but not limited to this lengthy list of volunteer work includes: 3 hour church meetings every Sunday; Teaching assignments; Speaking assignments; Community service projects; Meetings and Councils throughout the week; Early morning classes; and many many others. With such a long lists and with so much to do, it is no wonder the Bible reminds us to “be not weary in well doing.” But with so much to do and so little time to do it, how can we not get tired of working so hard? To what end do we work, or in other words, why in the world do we do it? Why do we volunteer so much of our time and resources?
 
The answer is very simply, to help and serve those whose hands hang hopelessly down. To serve those we love, God included, as we do all we can to help as He moves His great work across the Earth. Being a member of this church can be tiring and will stretch us to greater lengths than we thought possible. But I testify that as we do our best, God gives us all the strength we need to grow from a frail lamb to a faithful sheep.
 
I express my gratitude for those millions of Latter Day Saints who serve selflessly. I am grateful for those little lambs who have labored to become loyal sheep. Such faithful disciples of Christ include a shout out to my friend in Kendal, Roger the Nephite, who works and labors tirelessly to serve others. Thank you. I hope you all remember what it means to be a Latter Day Saint, and I hope those of you not yet with us will come and join in this great work!
 
I love you all!
 
Elder Walker

Our Biggest Fan

Hiya!
What a rewarding week! General Conference was so good as always. I learned a lot and felt a lot. Unfortunately, I am very short on time today! So I won’t have the time to tell you all about my week and about the wonderful experiences I have had this week. What I can do, however, is tell you one lesson I learned this week.
Recently I was reading in the Pearl of Great Price. Moses 7:28-37 to be exact. In these scriptures, Enoch witnesses tears from the Heavens. He watches in absolute shock as our Father in Heaven weeps. Surely confused, Enoch asks the Father how it is even possible for such a perfect being to weep. The response is one that teaches us exactly how God feels about us.
“The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own¬†hands and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;¬†And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood… wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?”
God loves us. He weeps for us when we suffer. He wants us to succeed. He wants us to be happy. He is our biggest fan, bigger than any of us could ever imagine. He is right here with us, cheering us on to reach for our potential and to keep going no matter how hard it gets. I know that God is aware of your specific struggles and challenges.¬†I also know, that by remembering your own potential and divine origin and destiny, you will find the strength to push through. I would say, just remember those six precious words the primary children of the church sing so frequently, “I am a Child of God.”
I love you.
Elder Walker