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.

Monday, March 26, 2012

"I am learning lots, lots and lots and lots."

Humidity amplifies the weather, you know that? After this upcoming weekend I don't need to wear a suit anymore at all till fall sometime . . . how nice.

I don't remember if I talked about Bianca last week, but Elder Cahoon and I found somebody who just moved to Greenwood from Summerville and had never talked to missionaries before... how about that? (both of our last areas were Summerville). She'll come to church one of these days, she'll probably watch conference this upcomming weekend.

We had three investigators at church yesterday... it should have been 4 for us though... oh well, not really sure why Jalen didn't show... He's our most solid investigator. Our district will hopefully have 5 people baptized next month between the four of us. That would be great to be part of that.

Hmph... don't know what else to say... we cleaned the kitchen this morning? and vacummed our room? (That's normal, don't be thinking bad of me).

I've come to realize that a large magority of the people we talk to are stuck in the "wicked traditions of their fathers" quite literally. They won't make an effort to change because they have been grown up being taught something else their whole lives, so it must be true! ("My mother wouldn't lie to me." "My pasture wouldn't lead me astray.") . . . and then there are those people that know the church they attend is wrong but think every church is wrong so they pick one to fit their personality because they know it's good to go to church, but they won't try out this one because satan works hard to lead them astray. Most everybody though is very nice... "southern hospitality" is a true term. I have had people offer us dinner lots, but usually I have already eaten. Nobody wants to accept any service though. That's too bad, we would have slid in conversation gospel stuff (which is probably why they turned us down, or they may feel like they owe us something, which they wouldn't, but they'd owe God more). People try to talk to us a lot about politics stuff.

("I'm voting for Romney", "I'm not voting for Romney", "who are you voting for?")
"Yaaaa, we don't talk about that stuff, just vote for who you feel will make the country better. Whose beliefs are aligned with yours" ... "No, not all Mormons vote for Romney nor are encouraged to by the Church."

Put simply: I am learning lots, lots and lots and lots. I don't know even where to start... the "deep" in "deep doctrine" just means you don't understand it yet . . . I really enjoy that stuff, even though I should be studying it less because that's not what I'll be teaching investigators probably; it helps me discover new ways to simply answer questions that take lots of time, persistance, dedication, and the Spirit to understand. (As you see I like to justify my actions...I'm working on that).

Monday, March 19, 2012

Transferred to Greenwood, SC

My companion is Elder Cahoon. He's from Utah. Now it's funny that it's Elder Cahoon, because I already kind of know him. My first companion, Elder Winger, who is now home, was Elder Cahoon's companion in Summerville right before I got there... I replaced Elder Cahoon in Summerville so I already know him... over the last few days we've been talking a lot about the people in Summerville we know. How fun is that?

I am in Greenwood, SC. Our boundaries are huge... we have at least 8 cities in our area. I'm probably never going to get to most of them. We have a lot of area at the South Carolina/Georgia border and that's about how big the radius of our area circle is–from Greenwood to a good part of the border.

I am one of four missionaries in our apartment.. except these four missionaries (including me) are going to be very good and productive and clean. We have a great district.

I get to have the car again, (we have the car and don't have to share it but do sometimes with the other two elders) except Elder Cahoon doesn't like to drive so I jumped on the opportunity to drive ... that means I'm driving about 1000 miles a month now... about time I get to drive.

Investigator people... let's see... here are the people we put on date since I've been here:
Jalen is a pretty cool kid that wants to do the right thing, he accepted being baptized, his aunt is a member, Gee gee ...
Melony and her daughter Shantal are going to get baptized too.
If things go right there will be 5 baptisms on the 14th of April in our district (3 us 2 them).

The ward is pretty small, smallest ward I've ever been in. We have the whole church building to ourselves (for our own ward). It's not that big of a building though.

Oh, here's something that I don't want to forget to tell you... I gave a talk the first Sunday I was here (yesterday) on the topic: "how to share the gospel with meekness and mildness." It was the first talk that I didn't write out every word and instead made noted points... the first time I timed it in the apartment Saturday night, it was 20 min and 3 sec. I think it was about 16 min when I gave it in Sacrament Meeting. I spoke without any pauses and was complimented lots and asked if I took any stage acting classes because it was very presentable and interesting and not boring.
A recent convert said to me something to the effect of: "I wouldn't be saying anything to you if I didn't like it ... if it was bad I would have kept quiet ... you kept me alert the whole time"

Monday, March 12, 2012


Elder Benjamin Walker is transferring out of the Summerville area this Wednesday. He's really enjoyed his time there. He loves the people:

I'm sad and excited that I am being transferred at the same time. Sad because Elder Parker and I have found many people to teach and 4 of them are getting baptized (I'm certain they will ... 4 different families)... and possibly 6 in the near future as part of their families after they are baptized.

I have to tell you about one of the people that is going to get baptized: Julia.

A little more than a year ago, Julia requested a Book of Mormon and never got it till Elder Winger and I, a couple of months ago, stopped by her home and gave her one. Since then we have been trying to set up a time for us to come over (later we found out it was because the husband didn't want to go into a religion yet), I was finally able to set up a return appointment with her this past week and Elder Parker and I had a amazing lesson with her... she is the most elect non-member I have ever met in my life. I wouldn't have thought otherwise if she told me that she was the Relief Society president of a previous ward. Her only relationship problem with her husband is that he likes to drink alcohol, and she is against it. (She's already living the Word of Wisdom.) She told us that she has been looking for a place to go to church where her children can learn after we had explained a little bit about primary from a prompting. They keep themselves very "clean". They're TV is very very limited because of all the garbage on TV these days. They only have one for the husband.

The husband is part of the Navy and is gone 9 out of 12 months of the year. She told us that she doesn't have very many friends because all of her acquaintances drink. The more we talked with her the more excited she got about coming to church. Satan worked really really hard on her, she had terrible migraines and almost didn't come to church because of how sick she was, but she told me she was coming so she came at the last moment. Her husband told her before he left back to the Navy for a couple of months that she could find a church while he was gone and he'll join it when she gets back. In the midst of our talking to her she told us that she found the church she was looking for. Her 4 year old and 6 year old daughters loved church too and made great friends. She even gave her friend the first Book of Mormon we gave her, so we gave her two more: one to send to her husband, and one for her to keep.

Miracles have been happening in the Summerville ward, I'm just sad that I don't get to stick around to see more of them... I think it was for the best though that you changed it to two elders in Summerville instead of four, Elder Parker and Elder Bennett will do a great job in Summerville. I'm excited about leaving though because I've never been transferred yet besides from the MTC to Summerville. I know that I will be put where I can grow the most and make the biggest difference in South Carolina (or Georgia, or North Carolina)!

The other people that are going to be baptized relatively soon are:
Steven, David, and Lessilie.

They have already told us that they will get baptized for sure, Steven is waiting on a divorce so he can get married and no longer be breaking the 7th commandment. Bro Lange's wife is a member and is strongly encouraging him to get baptized so they can be married in the temple; we had to postpone the date of his baptism though because even though he would have been baptized on that date we set, he's not ready yet; he still has things to learn and come to an understanding of first. Lessilie's daughter has been encouraging her to straighten out the simple things in her life that are keeping her from re-joining the church. They will all be baptized soon... Julia's husband will get baptized after he gets back, and her two children will too when they turn 8 (couple years away). We also have a couple children from a less active family, named Alexander and Elizabeth, that are preparing to get baptized. The daughter picked up reading the Book of Mormon on her own. Steven's adopted daughter will probably get baptized soon too.

I really do love all of the blessings that have come to my brothers and sisters here in Summerville, I pray that I'll be guided somewhere where I can bless more people in their lives later on my mission!

Today I'm packing up my stuff, because I found out Saturday night that I'm being transferred to somewhere else this Wednesday, and my companion and Elder Thayne's companion are now companions in the Summerville ward... they took out two missionaries in the area... it was for the best, I wish that happened while I was still here though, because it would have fixed all of the problems that came up and hindered us being the most effective we can be. They are very excited for it.

It really is awesome that I get to give/help with so many blessings members request. I get to use the priesthood all of the time!

Joshua, you are going to have a great time on your mission ... don't think otherwise. There is so much stuff that happens on a mission that never gets written down, typed, or told to others... it's hard work, but it can be (and should be) and is really fun too.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Missionary Work like a Roller Coaster

Elder Benjamin Walker:
Missionary work is like a roller coaster. There are some really high "high"s and not very low "low"s when you look at the big picture of things; unlike a rollar coster missionary work is on a general upwards path. There are a couple of people in our ward that have are preparing themselves to be baptized. It was just a matter of time before these couple of people got baptized. 
Here's a talk Joshua can read: "An Appeal to Prospective Elders" ~ Boyd K. Packer. I might have mentioned this before, but there is also a talk that Elder Scott gave that I'm going to send home towards the end of my mission that I want Joshua to watch and take with him on his mission (if he leaves before I get home) after you make a copy of it on my/any computer. My mission president said it's "really hard" to get a hold of (in other words, you won't be able to find one) but I requested a copy and so he's going to make a copy for everybody to have one. 
Weather update:
Saturday it rained all the day long. It's the most I've been out in the rain for a while. This past week there also there was a tornado warning. I've had two of them since I've been here. The one last week shouldn't have even counted as one, but the first one I remember it being pretty windy.
He's enjoying life. Write hime or comment here when you have a chance! He'd love to hear from you!