Go with your “Gut”

Hola hola!
 
What a great week! The weeks go past so fast that sometimes I do not even know what happened… This week; however, I remember some things! But first, I want to start with a story; a true story. Last Monday, my companions and I were at a public shopping centre (mall) to eat at one of our favorite places in the world- Taco Bell. We got there and were soon surprised to find that we were the only ones in the line! Apparently everyone else preferred KFC. Well, we got our food, sat, and began to eat. After a minute or two one of my companions, Elder Cox, says quite suddenly, “Woah. I just got a really bad feeling… I feel like we need to be really careful.” The comment was so random and shocking to Elder Debenham and I that we started asking him what he meant and what was going to happen. He said he did not know, but that he felt that we just needed to keep an eye out. We said ok, and moved on with our conversation. 
 
No more than 3 minutes after this bizarre statement made, something crazy happened. Two people sitting in the food court about 2 tables away from us started yelling at each other! Then louder and louder until everyone was silently staring at this take place. We were shocked and had no idea what to do. Before too long, security showed up and physically removed, using force, the more violent and abusive of the two. Once the abuser was gone, the other involved began to cry, having been very hurt by the other person’s comments. And during all this everyone just stared. My companions and I felt that we needed to go to her and comfort her and let her know that everything was ok and that she need not worry. And so we got up and started walking to her. To our joy, before we even arrived at the table, several other people had quickly come to the lady and offered words of comfort, support, and encouragement. It was a heart-melting scene to witness! 
 
Now this could just be a crazy story to tell in the future, or it could be a teaching and a learning moment to affect our lives now for the future. Lesson number 1: Always heed and listen to “gut feelings.” You may just think it is a gut feeling, but I call it another name. I call it the Holy Ghost, or the Spirit of God. His role is to teach us, to uplift us, and to warn us of danger. Who knows what would have happened if Elder Cox did not have that little feeling! Maybe we would have done something crazy otherwise! Lesson number 2: Realize the power your words have to affect for good or evil. Just as the words of the abused quickly brought the young woman to tears, the uplifting words of the gentle and caring crowd quickly dried them. Our words are powerful. Don’t ever assume that “sticks and stones may break [their] bones, but that words will never hurt [them].” Lesson number 3: This is more of a lesson I learned. I learned that the majority of us are good people that want to help others. We want to relieve their feelings of pain and we want to be there for them. We feel joy when we stand up for what is right. If this be the case, then what have we against doing even more of these things? What have we against making a promise to the Lord that we will do more of these things that He may bless us in return? The answer should be “nothing at all!” And if this be the case, then baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is for you! (That should include everyone :))
 
Have a great week!
 
Elder Walker

 

Simple Truth

Hello everyone!

I hope you all have had a great week! For me this week has been unusual. It has been unusual in that I had the opportunity to attend the new YSA building’s dedication on Sunday night. Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles was in attendance to dedicate the building. he took a tour around the building upon arrival and took time to personally greet each of the rooms in the building. When he came into the room I was in, you could feel of his love and of his genuine care for the work of salvation. You could tell that if time allowed, he would take time to get to know you personally. Of course he carried an incredible spirit with him, but the best part was, he was so real! He was not puffed up or proud or any of that. He was meek and down to earth, yet he understands that he has been called of God as an Apostle to preach the gospel. What a great experience! I hope it is one I do not forget.

Before Elder Christofferson dedicated the building, he offered some words of cousel to each of us. His message focused on being a righteous example and a beacon of light to all those we know and associate with. He powerfully and simply taught beautiful truths pertaining to the Book of Mormon and the power found therein. He taught us that it is through daily Book of Mormon reading (30 minutes if possible) that we will be given the spiritual strength to press forward through the difficulties of life and to become the people we know we need to become. Simply put, there is no other way to achieve our potential than through using the tools the Lord has given us! So simple! So true! So I have some questions for you. Are you an example to all those you associate with? Do you stand for truth and virtue? Is yours a voice of good? Do you understand your potential? Do you help others to understand their potential?

As we search for answers to these and other questions in life they help us to correct, examine, evaluate, and plan to improve ourselves. I know that as we do this, we will make a difference and these words will find truth in our lives; “You may only be one, but you are one. You can not do everything, but you can do something. What you can do, you ought to do. And what you ought to do by the grace of God you will do.”

I love you all!

Elder Walker

The Son

Bonjour!
 
Woah! What a tiring week! But, it was still good! The weather has been unbelievable and everyone is so happy! People have been so happy that in some cases it is actually a massive shock to me! For example this morning my companions and I had to leave the flat quite early (before 6:30 am…) and got into a public elevator where there were quite a few unhappy faces. It was quiet and awkward, so, as I do, I made a joke. I was half-expecting to get rebuked by someone, but they all laughed! Then I told them all that I was a Mormon missionary and a couple people instantly stopped laughing, but a couple were extra warm and friendly to me! What a difference a little sunshine can make! 
 
Now thinking about this, why is it that just a bit of sun can change the entire attitude of an entire nation? What is it that is so special about the sun that it has this affect on others? Without going into science that I do not pretend to understand, I want to focus on the little things the sun offers. The sun is this planet’s source of light and warmth. With the sun, we have sufficient light to see all things as they really are and to discern things that would otherwise be indiscernible. Also with the sun, we are kept alive. We receive warmth that allows us to live, to grow, and to thrive. Without this warmth, we would all die before long at all. Understanding the importance of the sun allows us to appreciate it more. 
 
For most of us, it is very easy to see why the sun is needed to keep our physical bodies alive and well, but what is not so easy for some of us is to see why the Son (as in the Son of God) is even more vital if we are to keep our spiritual bodies alive and well. Just as the sun sheds light on all things physical on this Earth, so too does Jesus Christ shed light on area in our lives where our vision may be obscured or our judgement impaired. Just as the sun allows us to see things as they really are and to discern things that would otherwise be indiscernible, so too does Jesus Christ allow us to look beyond the physical into a realm more meaningful, into a realm that could not otherwise be known. Just as the sun is vital to keeping us alive physically, so too is Jesus Christ vital in keeping us alive spiritually. Can you see how important the Saviour is to you, to me, and to the world? Without Him, the mood and meaning of life is no better than a cloudy, rainy day. With Him, the entire attitude changes, and warmth, hope, and brightness come into our lives.
 
It is my sincere desire that as many of you as possible seek to have the Son be involved in your life. By so doing, you will find your days more full of joy and happiness.
 
Elder Walker

Act on Your Own! :)

Hello hello friends!
 
I hope you all have had a good last couple of weeks! Have I? Of course I have! I am a missionary in England. What could be better than that? Ok ok, I know some of you instantly thought of quite a few other things you would probably rather do- Maybe like being a missionary in Malta? or Hawaii? But hey, I say England is better. Sure, the weather might be cold and rainy and most days might be a bit grey, but I love being here and I love serving here! I can say I feel like those people in the Book of Mormon who said, “…How beautiful are they (English things) to the eyes of them who there came to a knowledge of their Redeemer..” 
 
So these past couple of weeks in Manchester have been quite interesting. For one, I am serving in a trio again for the first time since August 2012. My companions are Elder Daniel Cox and Elder Parker Debenham. They are both from Utah and so we are all American. We have such a fun time together and we see so many miracles everyday. Recently we have been thinking a lot about things we can do to help others understand the importance of the message we share. We wanted to be more bold in inviting others to try it out for themselves to see what will happen. Well, since that companionship decision, many have accepted the invitation to try it out for themselves and the results have been miraculous. Today, in the last 6 hours, 3 people have told us they want to be baptised as a result of receiving an answer directly from God. What a miracle! They will all be baptised by the end of March. How can this happen? I have thought a lot recently about how miraculous this gospel is! As missionaries we literally invite people to go away and to act on their own and to watch what happens. We don’t prove anything to them because we can’t. We don’t force anything on them because we can’t. We simple invite them to try and we promise them that if they do, miracles will happen in their life and in the life of their family.
 
This same invitation is made to every single one of you! It is so simple! There are two possibilities. 1) Either the Book of Mormon is not from God and therefore from the Devil or 2) The Book of Mormon is from God and contains the words of salvation and happiness. That is it. You have to decide. And you can only do that by reading it, by praying about it, and by going to church to find out on your own. It is that simple! So what do you say? Give it a try! You have nothing to lose. This is my invitation to each of you! For those of you who are already baptised members, my invitation to you is to share what you know; because sharing is caring!
 
Love you all!
 
Elder Walker