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, September 24, 2012


I do a 15 mile mile bike ride every day. Had I been home, I'd probably have gone with them. I've gotten really skilled on a bike now and haven't crashed yet. I'll keep it that way. Everyone else I know has at least once. (Elder Mcguire has crashed at least 8 times).

Hmmm I had some spiritual thoughts I was going to (and still intend to) send you... but my mind has drawn a blank and I can't remember the ones I was going to say... anyway, this saturday another person I have taught is going to get baptized, not in our ward though, but that doesn't matter. Also, not in our ward, another family I've got to get to know quite well on several different occasions had their two twin sons baptized two days ago on their 13 birthday. Their anti-mormon divorced mother wouldn't allow them to get baptized until just two weeks ago when she consented to let them do so. Hurray!

That is wonderful to hear that grandma and grandpa are seeing the sights that Christ walked. That is fun. I had a thought this week as I was studying some of the things that Christ did that it would be cool to see the places that have great significance like the tomb he was buried at or the Garden of Gethsemane etc.

Oh I remember one of the things I was going to say. It was about forgiveness... When I was thinking of it earlier it turned out much better and inspirational than it is now that I'm actually typing out what I remember by the way. I also only have 5 min left before the comp kicks be off, so I need to hurry. So heaven is full of people that are forgiven and who forgive. "I, the Lord will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men" (D&C 64:10). When Christ says that we are commanded to forgive ALL men, that includes ourselves. Ourself is sometimes the hardest person to forgive. As Christ showed us with the women who was caught in the act of adultry who was sentenced to be stoned by the law of Moses, we will be forgiven on condition that we sin no more, no matter how serious our crime. (Except denying the Holy Ghost which most of us won't even be able to commit anyway.) We know we have repented and been forgiven when we "confess and forsake" our sins.

I'm sorry to say I can't finish my thought because I'm out of time... alas, I'll write you another thought next week if I remember one that sticks out to me.

Hasta Luego
Elder Benjamin Ray Walker

Monday, September 17, 2012

It's that time of week again

I am glad I have this opportunity to write to you today! I enjoyed Elder Holland's fireside (I watched it on lds.org during mormon.org time =-) I get an hour a week if you remember). You are right, it was a good one.

It is amazing how much more I get out of the scriptures as a missionary. It is lots of fun to discover new things and to remember old things that I remember being taught in our family scripture study when I was younger. Lately I have been studying up with a lot of the teachings of Jesus Christ. He sure did put up with a lot of the (all of the) trials that I've seen in people's life to an extent unimaginable with such charity behind every gesture of his in reply. Surely the Lord Saith that we are given the opportunity to progress to the extent that we are able to deal with every single trial. I can't wait for that day. It's reminds me of some of the times I wished I could go back in time to do-over the things I've done before with the wisdom and knowledge that I've attained since then. It's just not going to happen. Thankfully we have a God who's every effort is in the salvation of our souls. He has divinely planned out how I can go about repenting in the most progressive manner in which I may live worth of the highest blessings available to us, Eternal Life, to live the kind of life that God lives and enjoy those blessings with my family.

I have eaten out more this past week than I ever intend to do so again (about 5 times). Elder McGuire would eat out every meal if he could. I for one do not have that kind of financial abundance, and for two, don't even like to go out to eat; thus it's not going to happen much more I hope.

We have some super awesome investigators (still). All they need to do is take that leap of faith to get baptized. It ought to happen soon. Not much is keeping them back from doing so besides some of their families (which is "much" is do understand; they'll just have to gain a stronger testimony so they'll get baptized).

Thank you for all you do with the newsletters. I realize it's a lot of work, but I really appreciate it and I know everyone else does too. I'm always looking forward to hearing about our ward and my missionary friends through your newsletter.

Los Amos!
Your son loves being a missionary, if I knew how good it was, I would have pulled some strings and done it earlier.

Elder Benjamin Ray Walker

Monday, September 10, 2012

Talks and Studies

[At the beginning of this most recent letter, Elder Walker is speaking of Elder Holland's CES Fireside given Sunday, September 10, 2012].

The talk sounds like a really good one. I have grown to really like Elder Holland talks. He is the apostle that called President Holm to be a Mission President, so I hear a lot of them. If it's on one of the church websites, which it probably is, I can listen to it, so I'm requesting the link, if it's not, or if it's on one of the school sites I can't go to it without permission, and would ask you if you would print/mail me out a hard copy (paper please) of it. I'm going to print out a copy here if it's available, I like to keep a collection of good talks, and I have quite a bundle of them right now. I think I have enough to send Joshua one talk every other week for his whole mission. (Which I plan on doing by the way, I'm sure Joshua will like that. Whether he thinks so now or not, he will then on his mission.)
Yesterday we had a Stake Conference. I ended up standing up in the back of the gym for the majority of it and sitting on the edge of the stage for part of it. They announced when the wards were going to be split and we had the Temple President, Pres Baughman, President Holm (my mission president), Sister Holm, and a couple other people I didn't know (one might have been the stake president) all speak. It was a good stake conference. I also had the privilege of saying hi to a lot of the friends that I made in the Summerville Ward, for they were all there at the stake conference.

This past week we saw a lot of LA members and I read a lot of Ensigns. That sums up my past week. We also had some funny sit down lessons with random people. Potential is great in Goose Creek right now, we just need to do better at fulfilling that potential.

I still keep a daily journal. Due to Elder Bowman's dedication to keeping one, I thought I could keep one faithfully too; he's a lot better about writing important stuff in it, but consistancy is all I'm working towards right now. I'm sure a lot more than what I've said has gone on this past week, but I can't remember and am not going to bring my journal with me to the library, you are welcome to read it once I get home. I know it was really hot biking in the heat and that this week it is supposed to be getting a lot cooler working into the fall finally. (I actually like the burning hot better than the bitter cold.) I'm going to mail my winter clothes home after this winter, btw.

Here's something that I was reminded this morning from Elder Guasse (I'm pretty sure) as I read the 2008 Ensign conference talks:
No matter what age people are, the gospel was divinly designed so that even the youngest people may come to an understanding of what it has in store for them. The gospel is not meant to only be understood by the intellectually elite, it's meant for everybody. Something that I need to work on is teaching to their needs and at the level of their understanding. Even Jesus Christ was subject to the whole law of justice, yet at age 12 he was teaching others in the temple because God taught him at an early age what it was he needed to know according to his understanding.
Time passes really fast, that either means that I am getting older and time is comparitively not as big of a deal, or I'm doing a good job and that makes the weeks fly by.

I love being a missionary!
Elder Benjamin Ray Walker

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

To Family

Mother, you are very clever for teaching your children, keep up the good work. For me, a huge part of having the motivation to do something is remembering what sacrifices have been made in the past to make what you have been given the privilege to do availiable, or to remember that others have been through much worse and what you are going through is actually a blessing despite any trials that arise. Even without realizing that others have gone through worse, we have a God that has promised us that every trial we go through will be for our good and will give us experience to be able to do better things in the future. Way-to-go Robert! Tough it out. Not even a band-aid! =-)

Joshua is almost at at school now. That's pretty fun. One of the Spanish missionaries in my apartment right now lives in Rexburg, Idaho and is just about to finish his mission and go back home, I'll get his address for Joshua to go and see him. Elder Bowman is a really good missionary, it'd be good for Joshua (and make me really happy) if he met him and asked about his mission.

We have some awesome people we are working with. The members are doing a good job at finding people for us to teach. There are several friends of members that have potential to be baptized in the near future.

To answer the food question. Our ward consists of mostly young couples that have kids under the age of 7. Frequently they are not able to have us over for dinner because of weird Navy schedules, but the ward sets up two red boxes in the kitchen counter for members to put food in for us if they are not able to have us over, and there tends to be quite a bounty in those red boxes each week. So yes, the ward takes good care of us. I've also got a great picture of us defrosting ice cold pried open cans of soup on the stove that came in a box that we froze in the freezer. It's a really funny picture for a stereotypical home made meal. (Our can opener broke, right before we attempted to eat this meal.) You'll be sure to get a copy of it from the memory card I send eventually.

I've been able to hear lots and lots of unique experiences that people have had, both spiritual and non-spiritual as a missionary. It is amazing how much God really does look after each and every one of us. I am priviledged to be a missionary, and I love it!

Elder Benjamin Ray Walker