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.

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.