Hello hello!
I hope you have all had a great week! I am sure you have. This week has been full of surprises and a lot of excitement! So much has happened in this week that I feel like I could write a book! But, I guess I should keep it simple and start by saying that I have moved! I left Oldham on Friday and will be serving in Manchester for the next while! Now I know SO MANY of you are just dying to write to me so here is my new address (too much?):
Elder Shaquille Walker
8 Arlit House
11 King Way
WA14 1PS
Earlier this week, I had an opportunity to have a Skype interview with Isaac Wood of Flotrack. He asked me many question regarding running and my mission and how they have connected or not connected and it has caused me to think about the crazy things that happened to me in running immediately following my conversion into this church.
Last week I said that I would share an interesting story on the literal blessings of keeping our bodies healthy. One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 40:31 which reads, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Why do I love it? Because it talks about running! Now most of us would not take such a scripture literally, but as a newly believing, newly baptised member of the Church of Jesus Christ, I was “naive” enough to believe it! 
During the Fall of 2011 I began running on the Brigham Young University track and field team. I had big goals. These goals were goals I had had from a young age and they were goals that I fully intended to achieve. Through all my effort and dedication however, I never seemed to be coming any closer to being at the level of competition I wanted to be at. Nevertheless, I continued. As the Fall of 2011 turned into Winter and then into Spring, I found myself competing at a much higher level than I had previously done. I seemed to be coming closer to my goals. Everyday I looked at that scripture which promised to run and not be weary and every day I believed it would happen, conditional upon me being patient and upon me keeping the commandments. With this in mind I kept working hard and then in the Summer of 2012 I was able to have the kind of success in track that I had waited so long for.
What does this have to do with you? It is to know that God can help you in any way, any aspect of your life. He helped me to have patience in training and hope to run faster. He can help you to succeed in any aspect. Only believe. Have patience. Draw on the powers of Heaven through faith. I love you all!
Stay healthy! Make good choices!
Elder Walker

Eating Habits? Hmm

Here is this week’s post!
Hello everyone! So, I had a stark and unbelieveable realization this morning. As I sat and reflected on my week and lessons learned, I realized suddenly that few of you actually read what I type and that those of you who do read it only do so because I beg you to. Do I sound depressive? If so, relax! I am just kidding! Because really I know that every single one of you read my post each and every week because you love to! And because you think they are great! And because you have loads of time to fill! Right? 🙂
Anyways! This week has been both extremely challenging and extremely rewarding. What has been the challenge? Eating healthy. Last Monday, I had an interesting thought come to my mind. I do not doubt that it was revelation from God. The thought was directed to the Word of Wisdom. For those of you who do not know what that is, it is a commandments given to us from God with direction on how we can receive blessings of strength in terms of our physical bodies. The part in particular that I focused on was this;
“And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures; And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.”
Now look at those blessings from simply keeping our bodies clean. 1) General health 2) Strong bodies 3) Knowledge 4) Hidden knowledge (deeper understanding) 5) Increased ability to enjoy 6) Increased ability to endure. These are just some of the many many physical blessings we can receive simply by keeping our bodies clean. Some of us take these blessings to be more literal. Such as literally running and not getting tired. I have a firm testimony that that blessing is real. I experienced it in a real way that I will tell next week. For now, however, I want to focus on the promise of great treasures of knowledge.
Most of us look at the Word of Wisdom in terms of don’ts. How many of us, however, look at the Word of Wisom in terms of dos? Such as, do eat good rather than don’t smoke. I believe that the blessing of greater understanding and finding hidden treasures of knowledge is not conditional upon simply refraining from the don’ts. I believe that the blessing of greater understanding and finding hidden treasures of knowledge is conditional on diligently following through with the dos. This week I have done my best to test this promise of the Lord, and I can testify that this week my mind has been enlightened more than most any other week on my mission. I am more receptive to the Spirit, and I feel better (not to mention I have lost 3 pounds!)! There are so many benefits! I simply invite you all to evaluate your eating habits, and to make improvements if necessary. I promise that it will make a difference!
Love you all!
Elder Walker

War Chapters

Hello hello everyone!
I hope you have all had a great week! This week has been another week of hard work, rain, cold, shivers, tears, miracles, and everything else that is jumbled together in the life of a missionary. I like to think that most weeks I learn at least one lesson that will benefit me or affect me in my life, and this week was no exception.
Recently, I have been reading the war chapters of the Book of Mormon. Unfortunately, there are some people who feel that the war chapters aren’t really that helpful to us today, and certainly of no use to those of us who have no intention of ever going to war. To those people I would ask, are we not in a war each and every day? Are we not fighting each and every day of our lives against the decision to do great or to do not so great? As Elder Jeffrey R Holland put it, “This is a life and death contest we are in.” How true it is! For most of us, we are aware of this very real battle we are all engaged in one way or the other, and so we choose to stay away from the bad. But, do we remember that simply staying away from the bad may not be good enough? Do we remember that if we are not looking to choose greatness; that if we are not doing our best, then we run the risk of being open to the attack of the adversary? Take the example of Lehonti for example.
Lehonti was a mighty war leader in the Book of Mormon. He and a group of his warriors had obtained the high ground over their enemies and were safe as long as they remained on top of that mount. Well, as it always goes, Lehonti was tempted to compromise his high ground. First he was tempted to come to the bottom of the mountain. He rejected such an offer, understanding the risk of compromising so greatly his standards. And so the adversary gave him an offer a little more subtle. In essence the offer was, “Ok, fair enough. How about you come down just a little bit? You can bring your guards to keep you safe if you want. I only want to talk.” And so, Lehonti came down just a tiny bit. In other words, he did not do his best to keep safe. He thought good was good enough. The result was that Lehonti went on to lose his life. If Lehonti had simply stood, did his best, and was not moved, he would have been safe.
We are all in this situation. Maybe not in a position to lose our earthly lives as much as our spiritual, but that makes it all the more important. Just remember to do your best, be great, and to “stand in holy places, and be not moved.”
I love you all!
Elder Walker