What exactly are you going to do on your mission?
I have accepted the calling to be a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so that I may share the gospel to those who are yearning to know of the truth of the gospel. I have answers to questions that people don't even know to ask. I am going to tell people where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. I will explain to everyone that will listen why Christ is the center of the Plan of Happiness and why the Atonement that Jesus Christ has provided for us is necessary for our salvation.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas

On Christmas day we received a call from Elder Walker. It was nice to chat with him a bit, but in truth he was only calling so he could contact us later through Skype! So it was nice to be able to see and hear him as he chatted with us about life. He's doing really well and we are all so proud of him!

One of the best things about Christmas for him was that he was able to chop down his own Christmas tree, which none of us have ever done before. He was also blessed with receiving many Christmas letters/cards:
I received 24 letters on Saturday, Dec. 17 and I went back to the mailbox on Sunday, Dec. 18 (there wasn't really a reason to but I did anyway even though mail doesn't come on Sundays) and received a 25th letter... there was another letter in the mailbox... wow, that's a lot of letters.
Something I noticed for the age of people that sent me letters: the younger they get, the less they know how to fold a letter to put in in an envelope. One kid I don't know kind of just randomly folded the letter until it fit in the envelope and our youngest brother's was folded in fourths to fit inside. 
Our brother Joshua, a senior in high school, who will be serving a mission in a year and a half, wrote Elder Walker a letter asking about some aspects of the mission:
How much can you drive?
~We have 1,000 miles a month we can use for the car amongst the four missionaries in our apt. Two companionships. It's really not as much as it seems. It takes 100 miles each way to go to a meeting in Columbia for transfers or other stuff, thus far we've been going there twice a month (400 miles) since I've been here.
(Joshua) has been looking at Summerville weather
~Well, I've been looking at Modesto weather. We check the weather here too every once in a while. We call "tell-me" which is a free service that allows lots of things like weather, directions, businesses, etc. to be told to me. We have that number saved on our phone we have. Don't be deceived for how warm it says it is here. The humidity makes the cold, really cold and the hot, really hot. There are some days in between but it usually feels like one of the extreems. Last year at this time it was snowing, this year it still gets in the 70's. There seems to be cold fronts and warm fronts around here.
The most common food I make: mac & cheese or top roman
~Ha ha ha, very funny. No. The most common food I have eaten is pancakes. I do love pancakes. However, home-made mac & cheese seems to be a common thing to be made here in the south. During Thanksgiving and the ward Christmas party (which was really really wonderful btw) most people had made home-made mac & cheese. 
Josh remembers to water his cactus
~That's good, keep it growing, I see a lot more cactus' in people's pots on their porch around here, maybe that's just because I'm tracking and get to see everybody's house, there are a lot of weird things to see while tracking. I met my first midgit and first reorganized LDS saint on Saturday, Dec. 17. There are also a lot of wild animals that walk out of the forest all the time. (Remember the forest is everywhere around here.) How's the raspberry bush doing? I hope you've been watering that too. 
I have been eating lots of strange foods I've never thought of before. We ate dinner at the C–'s house yesterday. Bro C– knows 9 languages and counting and Sis C– doesn't like to cook but knows how to cook everything from every country it feels like. (I've had some of the most unique food at their house) 
How is the ward I'm in:
~The Summerville Ward is stupendous! (super). They have done such a good job with welcoming the investigators or others visiting the ward. Their activities that they organize are also really good. The Christmas party, for example, was really really good. They had about 500 paper (really only about 200) snowflakes strung across the gym and Christmas lights all over. The tables had crayons for me to draw on them and there was way too much food. It was like a while Thanksgiving meal per-table. (about 16 of them. 7 chairs a table). And lots of dessert. The different Thanksgiving meals we went to were awesome too. We are always told by people, as missionaries, "If you ever need something, food, a ride, or are in the area and need a drink, or want access to something you can't get because of mission rules (like internet, pages printed out, or movie made for us) just ask us and we'll be glad to help you." Both members and non-members tell us that. Which reminds me! We made a video for the Christmas party that we spend 1 1/2 hours on but a non-member actually made for us... one of these days I'll get it and mail it home... our view of what the movie was going to be was so much better than it turned out being. I was disappointed the first time I saw it... but we had a talk with the guy who made it for us, and he told us of these cool effects he was going to add to it... but his computer crashed several times trying to burn it on the DVD so he did a straight shot clip because he procrastinated due to lack of time. Looking back on it, it's still pretty good though.
I got a haircut from Elder Winger today... he's pretty good at cutting hair.
You know how you sent me that extra picture of our family's boys, mom? Well, that was the second time you sent me a replacement picture... I have two of them now for the one I lost at the MTC. (That one I had no control over because the blackhole ripped it from my possession into the midst of the fabric of time.)
And to me he says:
Dear Alexandria Mae Walker,
     Mom tells me that you are super. Thanks for being so super for me. You really are wonderful for updating my facebook account for all of my friends to see what's going on in my life right now. (I'm not sure if it's facebook or something else, but nevertheless, thanks a bunch!! You are the best oldest sister in the world!)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December so far

Elder Walker with his cousins Elder Austin Bean and Elder Scott Laughlin at the MTC
I'm sorry about the delay in the update about Elder Walker. It's been pretty busy around the house.

He has informed us that currently has a new favorite scripture, 2 Nephi 18:30:
For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.

He told us about how the mission work is going in that part of the world:
We have an investigator that we found a couple of weeks ago knocking doors. He's the first investigator that has come to church with us (he came yesterday) besides the the family that have been baptized. He had problems with all of the word of wisdom and was/is addicted to smoking. He has one kid that is currently in custody (being accused of something that he didn't do as far as I know) that is one year old (has been in custody for 9 or so months). He's waiting to get lawyers to fight for his side. He doesn't have a job and has one more kid on the way...

Now, knowing all this (that he has gone through hard times in his life), he committed to keep the word of wisdom, he has relapsed once, but has keep it since even when some random person walked up to him and handed him a pack of cigarrettes. (Literally, a random person gave him cigarettes.) He ended up leaving the cigarettes on the ground. He comitted to keeping the law of chastity and we impressed upon him the importance of being married (using 1 Corinthians 6 & 7) or separated. He'll get married in April, but has decided that he will stay with a cousin until he is. He reads the Book of Mormon on his own and understands the story line very well even though he can't read very well. (I'm sure God has something to do about that.) When he came to church with us yesterday the ward did a fabulous job in welcoming him and he told us later that everybody was very friendly. He even commented in a couple of the classes (sunday school/gospel principals and priesthood).

Something funny... his roommates (1 girlfriend and 2 identicle twin sisters) texted him to ask us in the middle of our lesson if we were single.

He's also finally informed us on the name of his companion, Elder Winger. He was originally in one of the Georgia missions before it was disolved. The other two elders in his apartment are Elder Memmott and Elder Hancock. A quick story about him and life in his apartment.
I bought Cholula sause for our apartment. A couple of weeks ago I bought Cholula sause and I showed them how much I like it several times... Elder Memmott (4 elders in my apt remember?) pored it out in a cup for me to drink (about half a cup) and I did. What a waste of Cholula sause though ... easy peasy it didn't effect me at all. Yes, it was a complete waste of Cholula sause, and I won't do it again because the whole things costs about 5 dollars and it doesn't have very much to start with (and yes, we've been out for two weeks now).
The sign Elder Walker saw and drew for us.
Also, while he has been out and about in South Carolina he came across a sign another church had in their yard. He didn't inform us of the name of said church, but the sign read "Don't pray about the Book of Mormon! That's how they get you!" We've had quite the laugh over that.

He had also written his almost 12 year old brother Robert a song. It's a song that we've called Robert's for a long time, but because line 3 is different then it normal is for our family, this means he made it up. While reading imagine the melody to "O Christmas Tree":
Oh Robert James, Oh Robert James,
I truly! truly! love you!
O wobert James, O wobert James!
I truly truly do. 
I love you in the morning,
I love you in the evening,
Oh Robert James, Oh Robert James
I truly, truly, love you!
He seems to be doing well! He wants to thank those that have written to him, and he tries to get back to each of you, but sometimes it takes him awhile. But he thanks you each.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

Elder Walker had a very filling Thanksgiving weekend. The best part was that this past Saturday they had 3 baptisms. A mother and her two children. He was really excited about it. He was able to confirm the daughter. What a great thing to happen over Thanksgiving weekend! He then shared how his Thanksgiving was:
I had plenty of Thanksgiving. I had 4 meals on Thurs. (four entire blown-out meals ... there was no room for desert and it was over the space of 5-6 hours) it was supposed to be five, one of the times conflicted. We were invited to a lot more though but turned them all down. We also had a Thanksgiving meal with a family yesterday right after church. We have a lot of food in our fridge right now. 
I participated in a turkey bowl game with the ward (football game) (yes, we had permission to) it was lots of fun and it was a little bit painful for me. I was pretty sore the next day.
Elder Walker has been in the Summerville area for the last few weeks. There are four missionaries in that area, but he and his companion have the west side of the city including St. George City Northwest. Soon after he had arrived in South Carolina a few weeks ago, his mission president and the wife wrote us to tell us how great of a person he is. They sent us two photos! Here's Elder Walker's words describing his travel to South Carolina:
President Holms and Sister Holms with Elder Benjamin Walker
When I stopped in Atlanta, Georgia it was a huge airport so I had to use a subway train to make it to the place where we boarded (and called you). After we got to Columbia, SC, our mission president was there to meet us. All 13 of us, how nice. We went with him to his house I think (just to let you know I wrote this stuff down in one of my journals so you can have more info on it later if you ask nicely). His house seems to be a little bigger than our house except the space is much more efficiently used up. One room has four bunk beds in the one I stayed in. There are 3 other rooms for missionaries 2-3 beds each in them, not including their master bedroom. The next day we went to the forest outside the temple (there is forest everywhere) which resembles the sacred grove, then talked to the new temple president for a couple of minutes in the waiting room of the temple. Then we went out to eat at a southern place and Pres. Holm made a referral out of the waitress (he showed us all how it's done) and now I'm here.

He also shared a bit about their apartment:
We borrowed a carpet cleaner from a member. My companion loves that thing. The carpet still needs to be replaced but it looks a million times better, that's right, 1,000,000 times better!
He seems to be doing fantastically. Keep him in your prayers this Christmas season! If you'd like to send him a Christmas package you'll have to send it by the end of November or the beginning of December so that he can receive it at his next transfer meeting which is a week or so before Christmas. The address is the same as the normal mail address.

Monday, November 21, 2011

End of Week 2 in SC

Elder Walker wrote us today! He first made it known how sweet it was to have a good friend of ours in primary write a letter asking if they could be pen-pals. Elder Walker said that of course he accepted and that he hopes this young boy will have fun reading his future letters.

He had some interesting information to share with use that we found a tad fascinating.

First, I should share with you that he was considering buying a GPS unit because then he could figure out where he was going and such. But he had decided against it:
I decided that I'm not going to buy a GPS unit for a couple reasons. 
1. I'd rather have a hands-on map of every area I go to than for using google maps. 
2. (this is really awesome) ... The church have been progressing a lot lately in technology ... I went to a meeting last tues (every tues) and one of the ward mission leaders told us that he was talking with someone (I forgot his name though), a general authority I think, and it turns out that the church will be giving ipads to every single missionary. The ones out in the field will be receiving one and incoming missionaries will be receiving one. This is what results because of it:
  • mission presidents will be able to call the missionaries if they have been in the apartment too long. (all ipads will have been programmed in a way so that the mission pres can see where we are at all times)
  • does away with all CDs/DVD players/thumb drives/GPS needs/ward rosters/etc.
  • all missionaries get to keep the ipad after their mission. the ipad will be his/hers to keep.
  • the missionaries will need to pay a little extra per month, because they will be paying for it (but I'm sure that the church gets some sort of huge discount for buying in bulk)
  • it's unlikely that it will come out before I get off my mission, but I wouldn't be surprised if Joshua gets one on his mission and I would be surprised if Robert doesn't get one of his mission.
Then there are other things happening with the ways missionaries do things. In the Fresno California Mission, where Elder Walker's parents live within, is where the testing of church tours first occurred before going worldwide. Apparently, in the Columbia South Carolina Mission they are doing another test:
Something else the church has done is started a test program in my mission to have members write a letter to a friend telling them something to the effect of "because I care for you so much I want you to be a part of this church". This isn't with me, but one set of missionaries are doing this in my mission. 
There are a few things that every missionary is warned about and what everyone home wants to know about. The food. Sometimes you eat some odd food and sometimes you eat some really amazing food. But this is what Elder Walker has to say about the food so far:
We handed out a dinner sign-up sheet for everybody to feed us four missionaries (four in the ward). It was my idea, and so we carried this idea out. The second meal I had with a family was a very very southern meal, it couldn't have gotten more southern. They cooked gritts with other weird stuff, it was edible. The other meals I ate were pretty good. I have discovered other ways to prepare meals via my companion and the other two missionaries in my apt. A lot of it tastes pretty good, I'll have to show you when I get back.
yall'd enjoy it (I've done been speaking southrn)
He informs us that so far he hasn't had much of a problem understanding people. "Most people are normal." Also, his missionary work seems to be going well so far! Which is a really fantastic thing to hear about:
Yesterday was a long day, I biked more than 20 miles. That's ok though, it was good for us. We did make 61 contacts yesterday. (Yes, that's a lot, about 30 a day is what we are supposed to be doing) 
We committed a family of three (mother and two children) to be baptized this upcoming Saturday the 26th of November, they have been progressing investigators for 6 months now, and they committed to baptism last Sat the 19th, (they have been on date 3 or 4 times previously though, but I think this one will be ok). 
So that's all for today! Please write him! He's truly love to hear from you and write to you as soon as he can.

Monday, November 14, 2011

First week out of the MTC

Elder Walker at the Provo Temple
As you all may know, Elder Walker left the MTC last Monday. Just before he left, he mailed us a CD of his mission pictures that we received on Saturday. He even labeled most of them. I'll be including a lot of them throughout this post (but mostly at the end of it), as we have also received an email from him today as it's his P-Day. Thus, here are snippets of his email:
Well, I don't know where to start. There is a lot to tell.
Lets just say that there were miracles to other people that happened and that I wrote some of them down. These are three people that we've met for the first time. To quickly summarize three of them:

One:
One guy was declared dead at a hospital and saw an angel.
Probably won't get baptized by proper authority, it was a street contact and we never saw him again.

Two:
One guy's daughter ran away from home last week and he is in very humbling situation right now (might get baptized someday).

Three:
Another guy that almost died due to anxiety/asthma attack because of some bad things he did and was sorry for and saw the hand and wrist of Jesus Christ in a dream who told him that everything would be ok (this was 4 years ago). Since then he has turned his life completely around and has much knowledge about Christ but his sources aren't good source as he knows a lot of wrong things about our church. (For instance: he thinks that we have been commanded to have at least 5 kids.)  But he's very receptive to everything he hears all he wants is proof of one of the things Joseph prophesied and after he'll do the research on him and believe us if he find out that it came true. The problem with this guy is that he's trying to figure things out the wrong way. But he treated us like heroes. He welcomed us into his house having never seen us before very excitedly knowing exactly who we were even though he'd never met missionaries before. He was baptized in another church though as that was one of the first things that he did after he got over his anxiety stuff, he found a church (he went for any church) to baptism him.
Elder Walker pointing to South Carolina
It seems he's still doing great! Apparently it's colder than he expected and is thinking of getting gloves and another cheap suit. But he says his bicycle works great! Which is good considering how much he'll be using it. He mentions that he'd love to get mail. Well, he sort've implies that. But he could be speaking to the family who hasn't written him a letter this past week. Whoops. In anycase, he ends his short email telling us he doesn't have a whole lotta time before the computer kicks him off and then says:
Well, I'm off to the mall, then store for food then I'll be writing letters all day. . . . literally, I get to write to everybody. . .


Elder Lash, Elder Phillips, Elder Hansen and Elder Walker

Elder Walker's District 
Elder Walker's District at the Provo Temple

Elder Phillips and Elder Walker at the Provo Temple

Monday, November 7, 2011

Off to South Carolina

Elder Walker has just arrived in Atlanta, Georgia on his way to South Carolina. We know this because he's just called home. He informed us so our mother wouldn't keep worrying about him. It's really great that the missionaries can contact their families to inform them of their safe arrival. My mom was really quite surprised and happy. We were hoping for at least an email. But a phone call was certainly great. See, traditionally there are two times a year when missionaries can call home. Christmas and Mother's Day. Today was apparently an exception. Love it.

However, he also wanted to tell us that the mission home address has changed since the point when he first received his mission call.

Thus, I just want you to know to no longer send letters to the MTC. He's no longer there. Send them to:


Elder Benjamin Walker
South Carolina Columbia Mission
110 Oak Park Dr #B
Irmo, SC 29063

But it was really great to hear him on the phone. He sounds like he's really enjoying life. Pray for him! and send him a letter! He'd appreciate it! from anyone!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Second Week of the MTC

Elder Walker is extremely lucky having 6 family members. If we each write him a letter once a week, well, let's just say that he gets letters. Though this may tapper off as the weeks go by. However, he has sent us a few hand written letters in return.

He starts out writing about his mission and his trip and such and how he's supposed to write us a letter as soon as he arrives at the MTC. So he did, but just hadn't sent it yet. In anycase, this was sealed inside one of his letters:
It's classic Elder Walker. This is the kind of humor he has. If you don't get it, think about it for a little bit. In order for that note to be sent to us in his letter, the envelope wasn't sealed yet. He could have taken the stamps out himself. I guess he really wanted us to write him back.

The next letter we received looked like this:
It's tiny. And every other line you have to use a mirror to read because he wrote it backwards. We're lucky he didn't write it in cursive. He's actually extremely talented in writing backwards. It looks exactly like his forward letters and words. Though it's extremely hard to read. When it's tiny. and backwards every other line. He's funny that way. :)

In Elder Walker's most recent E-mail it seems he's doing fine. In fact, I'm pretty sure he's doing more than fine based on his words. Here are some excerpts:
I can eat ice-cream every day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I found the ice-cream container on the first Sunday I was there ... if I wasn't constantly looking for it I wouldn't have found it.
Apparently the ice cream machine is in the back corner of the MTC cafeteria. He wasn't sure if he was supposed to find it as soon as he did, so he hadn't shown it to his companions as of last week. They've probably all found it by now though.

To my 17 year old brother he wrote:
now for the good news: when you go on a mission it is going to be lots of fun, you will enjoy it a lot.
Then there is Elder Walker's description just of how life is in the MTC:
Every meal is a buffet of good food ... not really a buffet though, just lots of different places where they prepare different plates of food and you can go wherever you want to get whatever variety of anything you want any time. I hope you understood all that ... and I've replaced my love of drinking milk with chocolate milk ... it's much better, and still all you can drink. in the cafeteria, with my card I get a 100% discount on everything. (big surprise there). and a 40% discount on everything in the store (which I have probably 40 dollars in getting a variety of colored pens and stamps and blank white paper and larger envelopes (for the blank printer paper). I am still sure that I made the best decision I could have made in the first 20 years of my life: to go on a mission. 
I have got to tell you about all the food we have gotten. Over the past week we, four people in a room (two companionships), have received 5 different types of cookies with a minimum of 6 for one type and 20 for the max. We have received enough brownies to provide everyone with their full share of desserts if we were to have a party at the Remington's. We have received a Pumpkin cake, cupcakes, frosted cookies, muffins. and lots and lots and lots of candy. all together including everything we already ate and gave away (as we got more today I later found out) we have received 30-50lb of junk food. I took a picture of what is left that we didn't give away as of this morning. 
Then he goes on to thank different people for different things:
I never thanked Uncle Donald for picking Elder Fischer and I from temple square ... would you call him and thank him for me? some friends of mine and Russell's visited us while we were at Uncle Greg and Aunt Debbie's house and Uncle Donald left during that time. Uncle Donald and Aunt Louise gave be a box full of cookies Tues night .. how nice of them. 
So he's really thankful for Uncle Donald, Aunt Louise, Uncle Greg and Aunt Debbie for the things they've done for him. He wants us to make sure they all know that.
And, of course, he thanks the editor if this blog for the absolutely amazing work I'm doing by saying:

Thank you for hosting my mission online for me, you are such a nice sister, I told my friends that you are doing that and that they should look at it to find out about it.
Did I mention that you were very nice to me? I realize that doing all of that online is a lot of work to do, thank you for doing that for me.
He's also really grateful for the DearElder.com site where you can type up a letter and it gets sent to him immediately. For those of you who has never used it you go to the site and create a free account. Then you write to the Elders and Sisters on their missions. It's a lot less expensive and in some cases it's even free (especially at the MTC).  So I'd recommend you use it to write Elder Walker unless you wish to write a handwritten letter.

Until next week everyone! Keep Elder Walker in your prayers along with all the other missionaries in the world!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

In the MTC

Elder Walker wrote us the other day!! We were all really excited. My mother was somewhat upset over the fact that he hadn't written us, but then we received his e-mail thus he was forgiven.

I had sent him a handwritten letter to him with poems written by Russell Elkins when he served his mission in Guatemala. He collected it all after his mission and had it published as My Mormon Mission Poems: A Witty Poem a Week for 2 Years. I sent Elder Walker two of his MTC poems as follows:
When we say grace in the MTC
We always put one hand on our cup
This act may seem irreverent
But keeps others outta yer 7-up
The cafeteria food can be tough to eat
Yes, yes, even the fruits
To keep us from having food fights
They make us wear expensive suits

Once upon a time
In the MTC cafeteria
Arose a loud crashing sound
Among the elders’ mass hysteria
Someone dropped his food
The room cheers and it roars
The crowd gets even louder
If things bounce twice or more
When it comes that time of night
When I kneel down to pray
I ask my Father in Heaven
To help me not drop my tray 
In Elder Walker's e-mail back to my family he responded with a poem of his own that I'm suitably impressed with:
Those poems about the MTC:
Incorrectly apply to me
All this talk about the juice
Makes me want to make a truce

We all do pray
but I must say
It's not the tray
It is our day

I've got laundry!
I've got pants!
but the one thing I can't do is dance!

I've got suits!
and I've got ties!
I've got to watch for Satan's lies!


(if you count the syllables for the first two poems on each line, you'll be more impressed) 
Elder Walker also wrote a little about his travel to the MTC with his friend:
At both airports I was at with Elder Russell Fischer, there were more than 8 groups of people (1-4 each) that came up to us and knew that we were missionaries even though we didn't have our nametags. This was word for word what they each said, and what we responded:

"Coming or going?"
~Going, we report to the MTC tomorrow.
 ... Are you excited? ...
~Absolutley!
... Where are you going? ...
~I'm going to South Carolina... I'm going to Las Vegas.
... Oh, that's where I went on my mission ... (two different people told us that, one to each of us)
OR
... I have a brother/sister/cousin/etc. that lives there his/her name is: ___. When you get there look them up ...
OR (like once)
... Oh, I've never been there before, but I've heard it's nice, you'll do great elders. 
Elder Walker's certainly kept his sense of humor. He informs us that he's working hard and enjoying it. He's learning more than he ever thought he could and he's been keeping up on his goal to memorize 2 scriptures a day for his whole mission. At the moment he's average for the past week has been above 2 a day, but he honestly has no idea if he'll be able to stay ahead of it because of his schedule.

And that's really it for week one. Keep him and other missionaries in your prayers. Until next week!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Happy 19th Birthday!

Today's the day Elder Walker reports to the MTC. It's also the day where 19 years ago he was born. In honor of such an event, I thought I would put up a couple of photos of him throughout the years as he's been growing into the great man he's becoming.

This was a multi-combined birthday party years ago for Elder Walker and several of the other boys in the photo.

The footsteps of the temple.

The latest birthday cake for the combined party of Elder Walker and Elder Burnham.

Last time in several years these young men will have their birthdays together.
P.S. Letters to a missionary at the Provo MTC and other places are free through DearElder.com

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Goodbye, Elder Walker!

Elder Walker with his parents.
Today was the day my brother was set apart.

My siblings woke up earlier than early in order to make a special breakfast for my brother. They made him pancakes with strawberries, raspberries and whipped topping along with freshly squeezed orange juice. They weren't even home when he ate it because they left for seminary. We met them at the church building after everything was ready to go.

My aunt and uncle, our bishop with his son, another very recently ordained Elder and our family all fit into the Stake President's office. Before my brother was set apart, the Stake President asked if any of us had advice to share with him, recognizing the fact that a setting apart goes very quickly.

First the Bishop stated that he's known Elder Walker for so many years that he doesn't remember the exact number. He just knows that Elder Walker was once a lot shorter. But that it's been great to see him grow into the man he's becoming. He also wished Elder Walker to remember the great support system he has.

Elder Walker and the Stake President.
Then my mother mentioned something my Grandfather once said. That as a missionary you're teaching others something they already know, but have forgotten. Teaching them the gospel should give them a sense of coming home.

My father then informed Elder Walker how so extremely proud he was of him. He continued, expressing his love for his son. One that he's so glad and lucky to have. He knows that Elder Walker will be a great missionary.

Then, the youngest in the room, my youngest brother who's really close to the oldest brother, said, "If you'll be as good of a missionary as a brother, you'll be a great missionary. And baptize like 50 thousand people."

The Stake President concluded with how, before his setting apart, we are already praying for the him. But, once they're set apart, they have numerous members throughout the world kneeling down in prayer for the missionaries.

We then drove Elder Walker and Elder Fischer to the airport and sent them on their way for the next two years. They'll both be great. We wish them the best of luck and will always keep them in our prayers.

Elder Walker and Elder Fischer waving goodbye.

P.S. If you'd like the address of a missionary in order to write them, please contact me. I have a list of them that would love to hear from any of you.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Call and Farewell

Hi everybody!
This is Elder Walker's sister, Alexandria. I'll be keeping this blog updated for all of you who wish to know how he's doing for the next two years. He'll be a bit preoccupied serving the Lord. I plan to put snippets of his letters in here as well as photographs. But for those of you who know Benjamin, you will know that it may not be a lot. I'll be making sure that he keeps all of us well informed though.

Ben has been called to the South Carolina Columbia Mission and received his call back in June. Here's a video of him receiving said call if you want to know what it was like to be there:
video

Yesterday, he gave his farewell talks. He gave two of them, each entirely different because of the separate topics assigned. He gave one of them in our home ward where we've grown up. The other was given in our YSA branch. Our home ward assigned him the topic of the Atonement and our YSA branch assigned him the topic of Obedience. They were both really well given, especially considering they are really intense topics. We thank our family and friends for coming to one or the other. It meant a lot to us all.

Today, he is finishing up his packing and spending the day with his family. Tomorrow, after my siblings attend seminary, we are having him set apart at the church building. As soon as that is done, he and Elder Russell Fischer will be flying into the Salt Lake City airport. On Wednesday, October 19, 2011 they will be reporting in to the Provo MTC. It also happens to be Elder Walker's 19th birthday. I think that's a pretty great birthday present if I say so myself.

We are all so excited for him!

If you'd like to comment on these posts, I'll make sure to past them along to Elder Walker. If you'd like to write him a letter, write to him using the MTC address that is on the right.