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, June 24, 2013

Last time in the Columbina South Carolina Mission

I have my last missionary meeting with President Holm tomorrow. I'm sure we'll receive addresses, names, and all other kind of information then; they'll probably forward any other mail. I'll let you know next week.

Joshua, thank you for the notes your mission president gave you on the notes from Elder and Sister Cook; I really do appreciate those kind of things.

The broadcast was pretty awesome. I'm kind of excited to hear how they're going to implement the technology in the missions too. Remember during the early years of my mission I said I wouldn't be surprised if all of the missionaries were given iPads or something of the sort during Joshua's mission and perhaps towards the end of my own? Well, it's now been officially announced that it's happening. I was impressed by how many tools and how much technological preparation went into making that broadcast possible, there were so many short videos and video accompaniments to the music sang and the talks given. That's pretty awesome! What tools we don't use, we'll lose! The fireside was it's own general conference session, except it was the apostles speaking only, and it was in June rather than October or April. I thought it was pretty neat that Elder Anderson and Elder Packer spoke from not the Provo Training Center (that stuck out to me as odd too as they said it.)

We had some crazy lessons this past week. Several (at least 4) back to back over 3 or 4 days super anti-Mormon lessons. Fervent testimony was born, the spirit of contention was rejected and you know what results when that happens: CONFOUNDED! They were kind of fun lessons, I've come to know that I know our doctrine pretty well, (I also don't know it very well at the same time.) One of the Anti guys gave us an anti-Mormon literature packet and I read through it all and it's pretty dumb stuff. There are pretty easy answers for most of the questions. I answered every single one for myself, I have yet to not read anti-literature I'm given (probably not the best of ideas), and I'm yet to find an answer. Every Anti-literature document is taken out of context in one way or another. It really just comes down to knowing if the Book of Mormon is true or not, or if Joseph Smith was truly called to be a prophet or not. Once you receive an answer from the Holy Ghost which is near impossible to forget, then you know it's true, and when you hear or read something supposedly contradictory, you don't think "Oh no! now my entire testimony is at stake!" rather you think, "Oh, that's pretty interesting, if that's true, I wonder how that fits into the gospel Plan." 

Oh, before I forget, here's the scripture I'd like on my new plaque: D&C 42:61

The people here are pretty nice. It's a great couple of neighborhoods that we cover. Similar to where we live. The wealthiness per capita in this Columbia county is the highest in Georgia.

Love you all!

Elder Benjamin Ray Walker

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day Weekend

About 3 weeks into my mission I changed my favorite scripture to: 2 Nephi 28:30. I can't even remember what the other one was, I think it had to do something of the effect of: "with God, all things are possible..." but I don't know the reference.

I was trying to think yesterday what my favorite scripture is. It might have changed again. but for now know that I changed my favorite scripture and if time runs out before I decide, it's 2 Nephi 28:30.

By the way, I did get to see the pictures that Joshua took. You already sent it to me with a different email.

The Aususta Zone Conference was really good a week and a half ago. It probably was the same one. It was an all day event.

Something for the future: sometime in the future look up an address on google maps. We were there the other day and our appointment fell through at this address and as I was leaving a message on the phone I believe the google maps car drove past us. I don't know how often they update the maps, but it probably will be updated within the next year in which you'll then see me at that address.

The sisters in the ward made bread for every 18+ brother in the ward. So I got a small loaf of poppy seed bread yesterday =-). Good ol' sisters.

I really like being asked to give talks or teach lessons. Many of the best studying sessions I've had on my mission have been when I'm preparing to teach about a particular topic to others. It's true, when you're in the service of your fellow beings, you're in the service of your God, and he blesses you profusely. 

I must soon depart from the library. Furthermore I end my sayings thus:

Elder Benjamin Ray Walker

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Georgian Macon Missionary

So it looks like I'm going to be a Georgia Macon missionary as of July 1st. We had our transfer calls last Saturday night, the last one before the transfer and I'm staying here in Evans, GA. I am probably one of few that had a trainer that was part of that mission. That probably doesn't happen very often: Mission dissolves, dissolved missionary trains, trainee joins same mission re-opened two years later.
I have three investigators that I taught in Orangeburg get baptized since I've been here, and more are on the way, is what I've heard. That is wonderful! It lightens up my days.

My companion's b-day: Elder Swenson's 20th birthday was last Saturday. He enjoyed his birthday. We attended another child of record's baptism that day. 

Over the past couple days, be have been soaked through several times. [This would be the Tropical storm Abigail.] The good thing about rain here, is that it's warm rain. I prefer warm rain over freezing cold rain, and I'd rather looked soaked due to rain and sweat, than just sweat. So, overall, rain=good, except when it gets all your stuff wet, or when you feel bad going into people's houses soaked.

We had an awesome meeting last Tuesday. It was interviews meeting, then a Zone meeting, then a special meeting (due to this stake of missionaries leaving the mission), then a pre-mission fireside meeting, then a fireside. It was a day full of great stuff! I thoroughly enjoyed it. I could do that every week. The missionary that was sitting next to me commented to me after all the meetings that she was impressed of my attentiveness throughout the entire block of meetings. Looking back on it, I was pretty aware the entire time what was going on, I never zoned out. That is something that I could not have done at the beginning of my mission. I could probably sit through entire 10 hours of conference back to back and never miss a beat now. That's pretty amazing if you ask me.

Love you all,

Elder Benjamin Ray Walker

Monday, June 3, 2013


Mother, I really appreciate when you include your different spiritual insights. It's the best part of the emails I get to read. I've told Alexandria several times, and you and others probably a couple, but my favorite kind of present or gift I like to receive is not cookies or candy, or even truffles, it's the spiritual insights from the scriptures, from life experience, and from talks or other conferences that really hit a home run for me.

Yesterday we had two more cool experiences. First of all we attended a baptism of an eight year old child of record. She invited everyone she knew to the baptism and there were almost 100 people there, half of them non-members. She was very excited for her baptism. It was very evident how excited she was for it. When she was actually baptized (the second time, first time she got water up her nose and her foot came out of the water), it was similar to the baptism I told you before when he yelled "I'm home! I did it! I'm finally home! I made it back!" Except little Mekenna's declaration going up the steps of the baptismal font was "I'm baptized!" Same spirit, same excitement. 

Later on in the evening we found a person [with] whom we had a very sincere lesson. The spirit was most certainly testifying of the truth in that lesson, and now he's set a goal to be baptized too! Hurray!
Did I ever tell you about a man in Orangeburg? He was baptized, along with a couple other investigators that I taught in Orangeburg. Also a couple more people I taught there are preparing to be baptized too! Hurray! The gospel is awesome!

I consider myself a professional biker. We probably bike more in the hot humid heat than anyone else in the entire realm of people in a 20 miles radius... and we do it in church clothes, frequently with backpacks on.

I want to tell you about the conversion story of a member I taught with who is actually from around Fresno, CA. She bore her testimony to us in front of her friend she helped us teach this week as she was visiting.

Her first name is Jenelle.
She had taken many anti-Mormon classes growing up in the different churches that she's been in. When she was in the army during basic training (which is apparently really stressful) there was one particular guy that seemed to always be calm and at peace despite the hectic and stressful environment. She mentioned something of that effect to him and he told her that he was "Mormon". She didn't talk to him for another several weeks after that. But it stuck out to her the more how calm and peaceful he looked. One day he was reading a book and she asked him what it was. "It's the Book of Mormon! I can get you one of you want." "sure..." was the response. He said that he'd get it to her in a week. He came by that night and said, "I prayed about it and God told me to give you one right now, so I'll give you mine" (note: the military Book of Mormon is a conveniently really small red book to be able to fit easily in one of their uniform pockets.) That's weird, but ok" Jenelle replied. She then over the rest of basic training would read the book when nobody was looking, she'd slide it partway out of her pocket and read it like she'd be embarrassed if anyone saw her reading it. Afterwards when she was assigned a battle buddie and went somewhere else, someone walked up to her when she wasn't paying attention and asked, "Is that a Book of Mormon?" Jenelle replied, "No, what? No, I wasn't reading the Book of Mormon." He replied, "Yes you were I know what a Book of Mormon is." Jenelle said, "No I wasn't I was ... [and made up an excuse]" He said it's "OK, I'm Mormon too." Then her battle buddie said, "Ya, and I'm Mormon too." They talked about the church for a little bit and her battle buddie told her to read Moroni 10:3-5 and then get on her knees and pray to ask if it was true. Jenelle said she would, so she set an alarm for 3 am so she'd get up when no one else was (this would be in a barracks that she'd be able to do this). She decided that if anyone woke up that she'd pretend that she was looking under her bed for something. She asked sincerely and felt "an overwhelming blanket of peace and love" and knew then that the Book of Mormon was true. She then decided that she should find a church building and attend a service. She went to the library and looked up online for the time that the service started, found the address, but didn't find a time. Her library computer time was almost up. She said to herself, "Well, this prayer thing worked last time, it'll work again right?"

"God, if you really want me to go to your church I need a really specific answer right now!" Nothing came on the computer but when she looked up, two LDS missionaries walked in the door. She scoped them out for several minutes and finally walked up to them and asked, "Are you missionaries?" "Yes" they responded. "I don't want to talk to you all I want is for you to answer my question. When does church start?" They responded, "9am, but may I ask you something else?" Jenelle said, "...Ok, fine what do you want?" Missionary: "We could give you a church tour on Saturday, would you like that?". Jenelle said, "Oh, actually I would, that'd be great."

She was taught every lesson all at once that Saturday and they were going to schedule the baptism the very next day (because she already made preparations to live the Word of Wisdom and the other things you need to do before baptism) The mission president advised them to give her a least a week so that the ward can know who she is. She was baptized 8 days later on the next Sunday. She then became less active then received a calling to be a ward missionary a year before she was active again then for two more years she was a ward missionary. She was just recently released from her calling when I met her this past week. 

Cool conversion story right? I had to type fast.

Love you all

Elder Benjamin Ray Walker