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, July 29, 2013

Unique Missionary Experiences

I haven't been losing weight mother... no need to worry... I definitely gained weight since the beginning of my mission. I gain weight every time I get to ride a bike, and I stay the same when I get to ride in a car. I'm pretty sure I came out around 120-130ish; now I'm 155ish.

I went to a branch yesterday in addition to our own sacrament meeting for complications for needing to do an interview for an investigator who all at once decided he needed to be baptized next week. Before Sacrament, Elder Douglas, the elder I was with, was asked to give a short talk about missionary work, and we were both asked to pass the sacrament. (Only the two of us passed to the 25ish members there.) After the intermediate hymn they announced the next speakers: the missionaries, which included me. So I had a grand total of zero seconds (plus how long it took to walk 20 feet away to the pulpit) to prepare a talk. I hadn't come up with anything yet when I reached the pulpit. Kind of interesting experience. Out of it all though, It was the most comfortable talk I've ever given. Usually my pulse skyrockets when I'm in a "struggly" situation or really nervous or put on the spot. I didn't feel any of that, and it went great for the time I had to prepare. I just gave a spiritual thought about missionary work, using 2 Nephi 32:2-4 and paraphrased the parable in the end of Luke ch 16 with insights on both. Fun stuff: be one of two to pass the sacrament, give a talk, and interview a candidate for membership in the church in a branch you don't belong to the first time you ever attend a branch in your entire life. Not very many people get to do that. 

Elder Lang is my new companion here in Evans, GA in the Martinez ward. He's from Utah. Out of the 10 missionaries that go to this meetinghouse church building of ours, I'm the only one not from Utah. 
Miracles are out there! This is the time to declare the gospel more than ever before, For behold, the time is Nigh at hand.

We get to drive to Macon once a month now. That's a 3 hour drive each way...  I'm going to enjoy the meetings. but probably not the drive. I've already made that trip once for transfers. Now I'm going to do it again for Missionary Leadership Council on a monthly basis. That's ok though, Now I get to listen to 6 hours worth of talks tomorrow =-)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Zone Leader and Investigator

I was assigned to be a Zone Leader as of tomorrow (transfers are on Tuesdays now). I'm staying in the Martinez ward and they are splitting the Zone. I must say, I went on exchanges with our Zone Leaders Friday/Saturday and I decided that I didn't want to be a zone leader on my mission because they have a lot of stuff they get to do that can get boring sometimes that I didn't want to deal with. Not ten minutes after our exchange ended President Cottle called and asked if I'd accept the assignment to be a Zone Leader.... I almost choked on "I accept"... right after I decided I didn't want to do it, the Lord sees fit that I need to grow in that area. That seems to happen in life a lot. (Ether 12:27)

We're going to have a Zone Leader and training companionship in our apartment this transfer. That will be fun. It's a 2.5 hour drive to Macon, GA where we will have our transfer meeting. That is a lot further than the 1-1.5 h to get to Columbia, SC.

One of the LA members (leaving out name on purpose) we've been talking to recently has a strong testimony, just some bad habits and doesn't come to church. His best friend he talks to all of the time about the church and the conversation always reaches some road block because his friend doesn't understand the answer that his is given. The LA member has talked him up to us about how hard headed he is and how he can't get through to him and that he wouldn't accept an invitation to hear from us probably. We stopped by to see this LA member and caught him and his friend John on the porch smoking one of their bad habits. We came up and started talking to them and I changed the conversation to be more of a gospel oriented conversation and the LA member said, "Here it goes!" It was so funny how the LA member was reacting about how we taught his friend the gospel. It was certainly divinely inspired both in planning to go see him and in our teaching John. John started with some walls with tea, coffee, and the law of tithing, and those were quickly resolved: "[LA member] it makes a lot more sense why you do that the way they explained it." We spiked interest in the Book of Mormon and the more we told him about it and the more it taught about some of those prominent truths he already knew the more excited he became to read the Book of Mormon. It was a fun night last night, we taught a couple lessons, even though we biked and got wet again. Would you like to swap weather for a couple of days? You'll probably get more rain than the whole year together you normally get in Modesto if you pick the right couple of days over here.

Love you all!
Good day to you

Elder Benjamin Ray Walker

Monday, July 8, 2013


I heard there is a hear wave on the west of the states. Too bad. It's actually be a rather cooler summer than normal over here. However I literally get drenched due to scattered storms while the sun is shining on average once a day. Most of the time I hear the thunder it's not raining where I'm at. There has been scattered storms on a daily basis for the past two weeks.

I have a recommendation mother for teaching investigators: "The ideal situation is to have the member invite the investigator to be taught then be present for the teaching" ( ~somewhere in PMG) set up a family home evening with the missionaries. Or invite them over for dinner, with the missionaries for the lesson to be taught at "our" home. Talk to the missionaries before hand and ask them what they'd like you to share. My personal opinion is that commitments are best taken and kept when it comes from a friend (missionaries can be friends too, but missionaries come and go.)

Elder Swenson and I made a really good lesson plan to teach to active members of the church this morning. I'll be sure to share it with you when I get home. It's probably the best lesson plan I've made in months. It's pretty member-missionary motivational. Robert will be sure to look back on those experiences he's having with gratitude. Has Robert been in Oregon for a while now? How long is he going to stay there? I don't remember hearing about Robert staying with Grp & Grm Bean for an extended amount of time. Having nearly finished the Book of Mormon again, I continue to be amazed at how powerful it is. How can anyone genuinely read the Book of Mormon and not know that it is true? You can't. Anyone that says they've read the Book of Mormon and doesn't believe it is either lying or didn't genuinely read it (or as many prophets have said "or then you misunderstand them").

I love you all! Keep praying for opportunities to share the gospel, you can do multiple families at a time you know =-)

Elder Benjamin Ray Walker

Monday, July 1, 2013


I wish every member had your zeal, mother. The work would move along so much faster (that's not a comment to say that you're doing enough, you're just getting started.  =-) With that comes more joy though and you get to be "pretty [more] psyched").

This week has been interesting. If I didn't say last week, I started a service project for an investigator and finished it this past week. Elder Swenson and I put together a $1000 Gazebo and it took many hours to accomplish. It took much longer that I anticipated and was a lot easier than I thought it'd be. Immediately after we finished that project (which took a whopping 6 hours to finish including a 30 min meal) we went over to give a Book of Mormon to potential investigators as they had previously requested one, and offered our service there, and she almost didn't believe that we were really offering to help, and we mowed and edged the large lawn. As a result she told us that she promises to read the Book of Mormon. (The Book of Mormon was for her husband, but she promised to read it too.) 

I was drenched a couple times this week. I literally could have jumped in a swimming pool yesterday and not have been more wet. Couple people told us we were crazy for being out in the stormy weather, then didn't want to hear our message.

I really thought that I had a lot to say in this email... I don't know why I'm coming up blank. A lot happened this past week.
I'm at a loss of words...
Love you all!

Elder Benjamin Ray Walker