Monday, June 23, 2014

Peaceful Heart and a Warm Joy

Dear Everyone,

So transfers have come and gone! And to almost everyone's surprise Elder Wynn has transferred to Okinawa, and Sister Williams to Nagasaki, and then me, I stay! How is that? Why am I so blessed? I'm not sure. But I'm sure The Lord has a plan for me and also all those other missionaries. 

Our new district leader is the wonderful Elder Wood. He was actually my first zone leader when I was a new missionary in Nagasaki. Crazy right?! And I am left as the last member of the old Saijo, the last one who remembers the days when we had no church, and I didn't need a full hand to count all our members. 

It is so cool to see how much change has happened all the while I have been here. God truly has laid his hand upon this place and it is amazing to see. I'm so grateful for him and for this opportunity. 

But as always change is a little hard. I have served with Elder Wynn for 8 months of my mission. I don't know what it's like to be without him. And especially last transfer this district really felt like such a love filled family, I could hardly discuss my love for them. And so it's hard for it to change, to accept other people as part of this love filled family. But at the same time I know they probably left places that felt like families and we need to lovingly bring them into ours, not hold or cling on to the past too much. We need to be a band of brothers to do the work The Lord has in store. 

I have really felt especially being able to let go of all else and focus on others and on the work of The Lord. And it's such an amazing feeling. We can be in the work and be part in, but not all the way and we won't have the same joy. But as we give it all the work is so great! We get to the point where we can honestly say we never want to go, we want to do it forever. And we are filled a peaceful heart and a warm joy and it is so wonderful!

At stake conference the other night Elder Lamb spoke of some stories in Saijo

One of a little 7 year old Megumi praying for friends, being the only primary child in our group, she told her Mom she need friends, her angel mother told her to pray, then a month later me and Edler Rees on the street ran into a member mother who had just moved here with two kids her age, answering a child's prayer.

Another of a woman, Kishida san who was able to learn and gain a testimony of the savior and the Book of Mormon and had a desire to be baptized, but her health was too bad to go all the way to Hiroshima so she feared she couldn't, but then me and a member gave her a priesthood blessing, and she miraculously felt better than she ever had in a long time, and was able to happily and healthily go to Hiroshima and asked me to baptize her. 

When I heard both these stories the spirit impacted me so powerfully, almost as if it was a voice saying, "You were an instrument in His hands."

And then a profound feeling joy, and also of humility swept over me. In all those stories it was really nothing I did, I was just there, yet God had used me to answer the prayers of His children. I truly understand Ammon, joying to be an instrument in the hands of The Lord. Joy in missionary work doesn't come from "being so good missionaries that we get the most baptisms." But it truly comes from that joy we can feel, when we know we faithfully served Him, and were instruments in His hands in blessing his children. 

And I'm so grateful to Him for it.

Elder Walton


Leaving missionaries,
My poorness
It japan it doesn't cats and dogs, it rains mazdas and toyotas




Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Last week in Saijo?

Yet again the day of transfer calls has come, filled with anticipation and anxiety for the moment the phone will ring.

Sometimes missionaries make the mistake as seeing the calls from the AP's or mission president.

Make no mistake, the Lord may use his servants, but I know that these calls are from the Lord. Not because you did so good so you get to level up or yatta yata (the kind of things sometimes missionaries say) But simply because the Lord has a plan and a work he needs you to do!

This week we taught one of our muslim friends Gilig and it was a way good lesson! The past few had been not as good, we didn't feel the spirit as much because we were focusing more on the doctrine and the logic then on his needs and his heart. So we realized we needed to change. He thinks those things are what convert people, but we know better. Conversion comes through the spirit.

So this time we went in and told him, "We know you have hard things in your life right now, so we just want to help you in your life." And we watched a few mormon messages and testified of God's love and plan for him. The spirit was definitely strong and we could feel it. He could feel it too.

Then he told us, "Can I just give you a missionary tip, you didn't teach me anything really knew, you didn't tell me anything to convince me."

"That is because we can't convince you it is true, it will come through the spirit, giving you light through your feelings, feelings of peace and joy. That is how you will come to know it is true" We told him. And we testified and left. His heart was clearly softened as he felt the spirit.

The world would try and convince people they are right or their idea is true. But God's way is different he will speak to us, to our hearts, and we can know for ourselves through the power of the Holy Ghost. Isn't that amazing?

There have been so many miracles with the people we're working with, Our currently progressing investigtators are:

Andrew: From Taiwan 23 guy. Loves tennis and is working here. Has a baptisimal date.

Yoshiyama san: Japanaese 30 year old guy. He likes video games and the sisters. Good things we are the ones teaching him ;) He believes its true but the doing part is still hard for him. He is progressing a lot though!

Oda san: 65 year old Japanese grandpa. He reads and prays everyday. And when I told him I might transfer he started crying. I love him so much. We have to teach him waayyyy simply and slow. Currently he reads because we gave him a small plant that is a symbol of his faith, he can only water it when he reads the book of mormon.

Xiong Yi Song: Chinese 24 year old college student. Referral from Sho. He is really sincere and just wants to build that relationship with God and feel his love. He is great!

And then Fikri and Gilig are our two muslim friends. They are great! I love them both especially when they preach to us. At least they care enough to!

We are seeing so many miracles from the hand of the Lord and in the lives of these people! Please pray for them!

Elder Walton

Pictures and surPrises!

Well we got calls and.....I'm staying! For my 7th transfer in Saijo, going to make it 10.5 months!

Wow I am a Sajio Grandpa! But I am so grateful! I love this place so much!

Elder Walton

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Monday, June 9, 2014

The End May Be Near

It has been a miracle filled week in Saijo! As always. 

Really any week of being a missionary is filled with miracles though. One of my saddest moments is when I go to another missionaries and I ask them what miracles they have had recently and they say, "none." 

Its like a dagger in my heart. 

Because there are always miracles! 

This week was a pretty hard week for me because of various reasons. But my district and their love really gave me so much strength to move on. Because there are 10 of us in a small area, we live right near to each other and there are so few members we have really learned to rely on each other and really have grown so close together! I don't think there has been any problem with the missionaries for who knows how long.

They really are a family. A band of brothers (and sisters) And I am so grateful for them. Their love did more for me than they will know.

We have been pretty busy this week teaching and visiting people so we haven't had a whole lot of time to find, but we have still been trying to talk to a few people whenever we go places and we have been finding miracles along the way.

This sunday the biggest miracle was the baptism of Sister Kishita! She was Sister Williams and Tseng's investigator and she is a 60ish year old grandma. She is so awesome! She studies the Book of Mormon so hard and has such great faith. When asked why she wanted to be baptized she said, "Iesu ga daisuke desu kara" (Because I love Jesus) She asked me to baptize her and I was so grateful to have that opportunity.

On the train ride over I saw elder wynn start talking to a random Japanese man. At first I thought nothing of it until I heard him say the word "branch" and then realized he had an oil vial on his keys. Turned out he's a member who is here in saijo for the next 2 months! His name is Brother Ryoke and he is way cool!

The service was filled with the spirit and was so wonderful! I was nervous about baptizing her because she had some health problems in the past. But a few weeks ago I went with Brother Kanchika and gave her a priesthood blessing. Since then she says she has never felt so good! Even when she would normally feel sick she felt better than when she would normally feel good!

She came out of the water in tears. She said that she hadn't believed the sisters, but she really had felt all her bad be washed away and she was so happy. she said, "I can't wait to go tell my daughter all my bad was washed away! She won't believe me!"

And by miracle (and a bold phone call from the sisters that found him) Yoshiyama san our investigator came for the baptism! The sisters told him if he wanted a girlfriend he has to do more than just play video games. 

He then gave us and Ryoke kyodai a ride home and Ryoke kyodai really helped him with all his issues and concerns. It was great for him! 

Our one investigator Andrew (who has a baptismal date) was going to come but then he got a different date....with a girl. Shoots. Well we'll get him next time. 

Especially through this week I have really felt the love of God, and the power of the Atonement of Christ. It really is real! He died for us and knows all our pain. If we let him in. He can heal us and take it all away. I really do know this is true

Elder Walton

Classic Japan and me the sisters and Kishita shimai.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

God's Power Descends

This week was awesome! It was full of so many miracles.

This week we saw two of the recent converts in Saijo get the Melchizedek priesthood! Our main man Brother Sho as well as Brother Haishan! And then our other main man Brother Zaima, convert of a week and half got the holy ghost and then the aaronic priesthood! Their service and their priesthood will bless the people here so much! 

Speaking of Sho, he has been considering going on a mission, but doesn't know yet, so the best way for him to know we decided is to study pmg! So we have been studying pmg with him every week and already he is learning so much and becoming an awesome missionary! This week we taught two of his friends both of which said after they want to meet again! He is awesome! And the best part is those investigators can't disappear by never answering our calls! Or maybe the best part is that Sho is able to love and help his friends come unto christ....yeah probably the last one, but we have just gotten tired of great investigators who never answer their phones.

We have continued teaching our good friends Fikri and Gilig. Our muslim friends who are simaltaneously sincerely listening and trying to convert us to Islam. Usually they teach us half about their beliefs and we do for the other half. But they really are interested and curious and have great potential! Yesterday we learned about how the Koran teaches about embryonic development. It even had great visuals too. Their main question right now is why does Christ need to suffer for our sins? Why can't God just forgive everyone? We know the answer is in justice and mercy, but we are trying to think of a good way to hit it home. Do you have any good stories or examples to explain it?

Then there was district meeting! Elder Wynn had been talking before about how this district meeting we were going to try and really unite everyone in the same principles. And me and Elder Rees have become known for some reason for making handouts. So we gladly stepped up to the plate this week and made this using prohpet quotes about japan and scriptures to inspire us with the vision:

The Lord’s Vision For Saijo


“For God so loved Saijo, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”―John 3:16


And the Lord said unto them also: Go forth among the people of Saijo, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls.” –Alma 17:11


“I have an abiding faith that this is to be one of the most successful areas ever established in the Church. It is going to be slow work at first but the harvest is to be something great and will astonish the world in years to come.” –Heber J Grant


“No one seeing what I have transpire in this land could deny the workings of the Almighty. He has laid His hand upon Saijo. His Spirit has brooded the hearts of the people. Their hearts have been turned as they have listened to the testimony of His witnesses. The achievements of the past are but a prologue to a greater future” –Heber J Grant


“I have the assurance in my heart there will yet be a great and important labor accomplished in Saijo. The inhabitants are a wonderful people.” –Heber J Grant


“I have a testimony that the Lord will establish the church in Saijo in a dramatic way. For many years it has looked like the progress in Saijo had completely halted. Actually, the Lord was preparing a foundation. From that foundation miracles will spring forth.”-President Henry B Eyring


“For there are many yet in Saijo among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men…who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it” –Doctrine and Covenants 123:12


“For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in Saijo; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word.” –Alma 13:24

“And they established a church in the land of Saijo, and consecrated priests and teachers in the land, to baptize unto the Lord whosoever were desirous to be baptized. And it came to pass that they were many; for they did flock in from all the region round about Saijo, and were baptized.

I have much treasure in Saijo for you, for the benefit of Zion, and many people in this city, whom I will gather out in due time for the benefit of Zion, through your instrumentality.” –Doctrine and Covenants 111:2

Elder Rees and Elder Walton will not be held responsible for any blessings not seen because of lack of faith

I love the work of the Lord and love you all so much! 

Elder Walton


Burial mound of ancient Japanese king ooooh spooky.

Me and Elder Rees. The sun is cooking me like yakisoba noodles

Flooded japanese rice fields are so pretty!