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, May 28, 2013

God Leads Us

This past week has been a good week. I was able to go on exchanges with Elder Lash (Who was in the same district as I and in the same room in the MTC) about time! We probably biked faster that day than any other on my mission. (I wanted to stretch him as much as possible, I've biked pretty much my whole mission and he hasn't. But he's a really hard worker so I know he gave it all he had to keep up with me =-) )

We found a young man last night that is 17 or 18 years old and we taught him the restoration lesson and he was getting more and more excited about it. "This is finally making sense" "I'm going to start reading the book of Mormon after you leave" etc. unfortunately the lesson ended at about 9:40pm and we were an hour's bike ride home. So we called a wonderful member that drove us back and we got home about 10:10pm. It was worth it. But it did make for pressed time in getting things done last night. We ate with a member family yesterday that had lived in Modesto for about 3 months working for the "Clark Pest Control" company (now the military). The Evanson's lived there 10 years ago. Fun, fun, fun. They made us a good dinner too.

The work is progressing, we found lots of more people to teach, that's good. It is amazing how God leads us to find people that are ready to be taught. We knocked into a couple members that aren't on the roster, one of which is a part member family and they're trying to get back involved with the LDS church. There have also been some good missionary motivated lessons we've had with members to be more missionary minded.

We ordered a braille Book of Mormon for a bishop over many non-denominational churches (he sets up churches) over Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida. He is 95% blind, and is learning braille, so we downloaded the audio Book of Mormon for him and ordered the other Book of Mormon.

I love you all! Have a happy Memorial Day!

Monday, May 20, 2013

I am Blessed to Live in This Dispensation

I have been listening to 8 lectures of the "Teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith" over the past week. It continues to amaze me how relevant the revelation he received is today. There were two great talks given this past Sunday and it seemed to me that a lot of the things that one of the speakers said I've heard more than once in the past week. (So I requested a copy of his talk, which he'll give to me next week.) Also, the scripture I've been memorizing I'm keeping memorized; it seems to have more and more relevance as I continue on throughout life. Somebody will say something, and I think to myself, "Didn't such an such scripture teach that same doctrine?" or "Doesn't such and such scriptures expound on the topic that was just mentioned?" or "Doesn't such and such scripture apply to what I'm doing right now and give be a clear direction of how I ought to move forward?"

Word of advice for Monica: Keep the Book of Mormon scripture mastery memorized, review to yourself every so often the scriptures. Also, when you have the scriptures memorized already. It makes a neat study, you take one phrase at a time of the scriptures and write down any insights you have on it (all doing so without looking actually in the scriptures, because you have them memorized that good right? if not, memorize them that good.) Something else that I wasn't quite expecting on my mission is the relevance of using scripture mastery in teaching the gospel. I now understand how to actually use those scriptures in sharing gospel while in seminary it couldn't quite connect the dots on how it would help myself or others grow.

Unfortunately, two of our most solid people we were teaching, as a surprise to us, dropped us. Our first encounter with one of the investigator's mothers didn't ever want to see us again at her house and gave no reason why; the other one missed his appointment and texted us a day later that he doesn't want to change, again without a reason, this being done after they both already had a testimony of the things that we said were true. It doesn't make sense to me. Why would anybody leave the tree of life after having tasted of the fruit? Both were over excited to learn more the couple lessons we had with them, then it's like they jumped off a cliff. It's saddening sometimes.

Since General Conference, I have used the talks that they gave in teaching a lot. How convenient for an apostle to teach about the Law of Chastity with such eloquence. How blessed are we to be able to learn about Obedience from a current Prophet, or the principal of faith from another apostle, or the importance of the family from servant of God. The prophets in the scriptures are great, they do great things, the current prophets give so much more direct and situational guidance. I am blessed to live in a dispensation where we have such things available to us.


Elder Benjamin Ray Walker

Monday, May 13, 2013

Last Call Home

You are such a good missionary mom! Way to share the gospel with the neighbors. The hardest part of sharing the gospel is the invitation to learn. The rest is easy, because now that you've planted seeds, others tend to be inquisitive and all the questions and thoughts take care of themselves by the promptings of the spirit; they are headed towards the gate that opens up to the path before they even know it.

Mother, I must say, you had a couple moments of looking defeated when you couldn't call Joshua on Skype and join him in the group 3 way conference skype call. Joshua eventually figured out that he needed to accept us as friends or add us as friends to do so, it's too bad his Skype wasn't up to date either, thus only sound came through in the conference call. I'm glad things eventually worked out.

Yesterday we were given the opportunity to teach all of the YW 12-18 as the Women were doing their Mother's Day RS thing and the Men were filling in in primary and other areas of the ward the sisters usually do. We were told Saturday night that someone heard that we're teaching somebody somewhere on Sunday, then it was confirmed to us 5 minutes before the actual class that we were teaching it. We had a good lesson plan made Sunday morning; I would have been disappointed if I had no been given the opportunity to teach the class. (partly because we brought with us 32 copies of the Book of Mormon and we planned on giving them out to be handed out ... and need I note that we biked to church and didn't want to bike back with them?)

Saturday night I decided (on a whim) that I'm going to have memorized the entire Pearl of Great Price over the next 2 years. It will be quite the challenge. I just finished memorizing D&C 121:34-46 and decided that it wasn't that hard to do so and the whole PoGP ought not be that difficult to keep memorized including individual references (so I can quote singled out scriptures within it). We'll see if I keep this up. You'll have to ask me how much I've memorized by the time I get home.

I know you may wish I would think otherwise Mother, but I did not feel a great desire to Skype home so immediately. It felt like more of a missionary phone call when I talked to you Saturday night to confirm Skyping time on Sunday and it was great to see you all yesterday, but it's no big deal, I mean, I talked to you not that long ago during Christmas. I know why I'm on a mission, and I have not and will not get homesick about it. I've got a purpose in my being where I am and I will not depart from it until I've done what the Lord has required of me to do while I'm here. I'll talk to you again in the Sacramento, CA (that's the one we went to right?) airport next time.

Love you all,
Elder Benjamin Ray Walker
P.S. it was good to meet you BJ

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Companion = Elder Swenson from Kaysville, UT
Now in Evans, GA, in the Martinez ward
Ward = great
People = great
White-washed in, no investigators (still), two potentials, some former investigators, we have a lot of work ahead of us to do.
Ward just called a ward mission leader yesterday, still an awesome ward though.
The Work is moving forward.
I get to bike a lot here (no car) compared to my last area that was huge and a long way from any other missionaries where I drove (I was the designated driver the whole time) at least 7,000 miles over the past 6 months.
Rain is not quite as bad when it's not freezing cold at the same time.
Georgia Macon mission is opening back up July 1st and is taking the Augusta, GA stake that I'm currently in. If I'm still here, then I'll be in a new mission.

Love you all, sorry for the shorter letter, pressed for time.

Elder Benjamin Ray Walker