Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Maybe my 4th maybe last?

Well here comes it again, transfer call day. Last time I was in a fuss worried about what would happen. But I've done that so many times that it's kind of old haha. I think I might be leaving, but I still don't know. There is a chance certainly that I could stay, whichever way I simply want to serve the Lord where he needs me.

It never really hit me before that I might leave Saijo until last night. Last night while I was praying I just remembered all the sad, and all the happy moments I have had in Saijo. All the people I have known, and I was just filled with such love for all of them and all of it. Despite being here 10 and a half months, I'm still not ready to go. I love the people here so so much. The members have sacrificed so much and continue to for the gospel. And the people here are so wonderful.

I've been on my mission over a year and to be honest I don't know anything, but Saijo.

But I know the Lord has a plan. He is guiding this place and I trust him that he knows what he is doing and I simply want to do His will.

This week we found this way cool 20 year old Japanese guy that wanted to come to church and see what it was like. We made an appointment to meet before church and got his number so we could confirm.

But then I accidentally lost it! I felt so bad, here was this golden guy that would have probably come to church if we could call and confirm but now probably wouldn't. But knew I could do nothing and I had to leave it up to the Lord.

Then the night before church guess who we ran into on the street!? That same guy! It was such a miracle! We were able to confirm with him and get his number and he came to church! Otherwise he certainly wouldn't have come.

I may make so many mistakes. I am so imperfect. But the Lord knows me and my weaknesses, and as I give it all to Him, he makes up for those weaknesses and makes it all okay. I am so grateful to him.

Also this week we had a name in our planner for our lesson Moriwaki san. But we had no idea who it was. No number no memory at all. We went to the church at that time, expecting him not to come because we couldn't confirm. But the he suprises us, walks in the door and turns out to be awesome! He totally felt the spirit, has a desire to come closer to God and is coming to church next week!

Also he owns a Mazzerati (probably wrong spelling) So he will be great to visit less actives with when he is a member ;)

Love you all!

Elder Walton

Still, Saijo Japan

-Me and my favorite man Sho

-We clearly have a costco nearby and are all American

-A beautiful place to stop for sack dinner and to read the Book of Mormon together.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dear Everyone

Dear Everyone,

This week was an interesting week filled with some hardship, many miracles, and lots of chinese.

Last week I emailed about the crazy sunday trip to Hiroshima's wedding, we don't know a lot but it seems like he didn't end up getting married, and that caused a pretty big shock to him and has caused a really dangerous situation. He is really struggling so please pray for Zaima. He really needs prayers right now.

This week we had a really great lesson with ___ our muslim from Indonesia. Our normal place didn't work to meet so we told him we had another one. We get there and he says, "what is this place?" We tell him it's a church and he visibly takes a step back. But after reassuring him it's just a normal room in a normal building he is okay. We read in the Book of Mormon and I think for the first time he started to understand what kind of Book it was, see the beauty and also the testimony of prophets. At the end he said, "well this is all good, but I think our main difference in beliefs is about whether christ is the son of God or not."

We then we gave one of the most powerful testimonies I've felt about the savior, testifying that he was not just a prophet, but the son of God, I know that he came to die for our sins, and that through him we can have eternal life. At that moment, as that testimony surged through me I felt more sure than ever that Christ was the son of God. The Holy Ghost bore witness to me and to him.

And then we explained that the way he can know Christ is the son of God is through the Book of Mormon. And we testified that it was true. And we could see, he felt the testimony, he wanted to know for himself. He might take a while, but he will come to feel it's true for himself.

This week was filled with tons of Chinese. About a month ago after reading my patriarchal blessing and pondering I felt a prompting that I needed to study Chinese. I was a little unsure at first, but I felt like it was from the Lord so I did. And now I can see why. Recently I have started really trying to study it so I can teach people on the street set up appointments and teach them later. Most of them understand some Japanese, but when they hear it in their native tongue in chinese, (by a white guy in Japan no less) than it touches their heart. This week alone we found a way golden investigator 25 year old chinese girl and a family of a mom and daughter (both of which we passed to the chinese sister) We spent yesterday housing a chinese filled apartment building and I spent most of that hour teaching and talking to people in chinese. Usually not understanding the words they said back, but through the gift of tongues and the spirit I knew what they were saying, and I was able to help them. It was madness!

I know the gift of tongues really is true! None of this is because of me, but because God has guided me and given me the ability to help the children he loves so much, and I am so thankful to him!

And finally on Saturday we taught a brazilian named Junior. He is the one who told us on the street (I've always had interest in the book of mormon but didn't know where to buy it!) We met again, and by the way this time he asked us where he could buy the doctrine and covenants too haha. We told him we'd get it to him for free.

Anyways we followed up on the first lesson, and talked about it. Turned out he had met with some missionaries a little before and went to church a little before, but maybe didn't have a lot of chance in his small town. But he told us he already believes in the Book of Mormon and that Joseph Smith was a prophet! We were a little surprised. It's nice to find an investigator preloaded with a testimony.

God really is preparing so many people. I'm so grateful to just be his instrument. We aren't doing the work. This is his work, he is doing it! And we're just along for the ride. I love it!

And I love all you!

Elder Walton,

Saijo Japan

Pictures: BYU!!! In Hiroshima Japan!?

Face Yoga.

Me and Elder Wood on Splits

Friday, July 18, 2014


I titled this email of the week has "...what?" for a reason. I'm not sure even how to describe this week as it was filled with so many crazy things. I'm debating whether to start with the good crazy things or the not so good ones. I'm not sure. Maybe I'll start with the crazier ones and then end with the cool good ones?

Well it all started yesterday, sunday morning before church we decided to visit Zaima, build him up a little and see if by some chance he can come to church. We get there at 9am or so and call him. He answers and then comes to the door. We clearly woke him up. (oops, but worth it) We talked for a bit, and asked him if he worked today. He was kind of sketchy and avoided the question. "So you can come to church?" then he said to us. "Issho ni Hiroshima ni ikou" or "Lets all go to hiroshima"

What?! "Oh church in Hiroshima?" We thought. We talked a little bit clearly not meaning church, but wasn't being clear, he kept nervously turning the music on and then off, the tv on and then off and finally he said he had an appointment there at a place called the RCC.

"Let's all go." He said. We still didn't understand. He was being really sketchy and not really telling us anything. Then finally he says it, "I'm getting married today."

Our jaws drop. Completely out of nowhere. "What you're getting married today? Since when?" He hadn't told us anything, and he was still sketchy, we asked him to who, and how they met, and he wouldn't tell us anything. He just avoided all our questions. We were way worried because it clearly wasn't the kind of things he was especially proud of. We had no idea what it was all about. "I'm sorry we have to go to church and we have appointments, we can't just drop the day of and go, though we really want to."

Then we ask him what time he needs to leave "Oh about 9" He looks at the clock. It's 9:20 "Wow that was fast!" We let him get ready and leave biking away completely blown away. It was all so so weird, everything about the situation was way weird. On our way me and Elder Rees start talking, questioning whether we should actually go or not, then we ask Elder Wood.

"You should go!" he says. Backed up by our district leader we went.

We met Zaima at the train and rode over, I wrote a little in my journal on the way, "Right now I'm on a train. I should be in church (I was the saddest I've been not to get to take the sacrament) , but instead I'm going to the sudden wedding of my recent convert, I found out about 30 minutes ago." We were still so confused what was going on. And still he was sketchy about everything and wouldn't tell us anything.

He looked pretty worried about all of it too, but when we asked he was just stoic saying "Daijobu desu" "I'm fine"

The whole time I just feel like this parent whose child is making some kind of big mistake, but I can't stop him from something he is entirely set on, I can only help him and keep loving him despite all of it. I had not really any idea what to do.

We walk to this cultural center that he said was the place and sit down. He looks at his phone a little while, nervously orders a glass of juice and downs it in 20 seconds. Finally he looks up. "I made a mistake, let's go" I was hoping he meant about the wedding.

But turns out it was just the place, he told us it wasn't actually in Hiroshima, but it was in Miyoshi, in another province north of hiroshima province an hour and a half train ride away. How do you not know the state or province of your own wedding? We had to tell him we couldn't go (not only was it so far and expensive away it was out of not only our area but our whole mission!) So we bid him farewell. He was really grateful that we had come so far.

"I didn't think you would come, thank you so much." he told us.

So we got back to Saijo church just in time for Mission Coordination Meeting. We walk in and all the missionaries and the mission leader turn to us. "What happened!? They all asked? Did he really get married?" We told them the details. The members didn't believe it really was his wedding, they thought we made a mistake that it was his friend getting married, everything about it was so unheard of they couldn't even comprehend it was so unjapanese-like. Maybe they don't have eloping so much here? But after Zaima's home teacher called him that night it was confirmed, it was indeed HIS wedding, but there seemed to be some trouble as he was at least 3 hours late to his own wedding. So we still don't know if he actually got married or not.....or what is going on. But the whole situation is so weird....

We are really worried for him. But God is merciful and he has a plan for Zaima and he will help him out whatever happens. Please pray for him!

I didn't mean to spend so much time on that...but it's written so...

Anyways awesome things and many miracles happened this week!

We got invited by our muslim investigator to go to the Islamic version of a break the fast (this month is ramadan) So thursday night we went down to the local mosque and had indonesian with 50 muslim guys. They were all way cool guys! We got a picture with our main main Imam Abullah the local leader.

And then also this week I really felt the truth of the gift of tongues. Twice we ran in to chinese people this week. Both times once I learned they were chinese I went full into chinese, teaching them simply and inviting them to know more and setting up a new lesson with them all in chinese! It was amazing to feel God really helping me because without his help I know I could never do that! I can truly testify that the gift of tongues is real.

On Friday we were out waiting for a new investigator to come to an appointment he probably wasn't going to show to. But then on the street we see one of our investigators Yamashita san. We greet him and say hi, then ask if he has time to meet.

He says, "sure."

So we read the Book of Mormon with him and talk about it. He really started to understand how it helps us in our life. But then at the end he said, "but I have so much homework and I'm so busy, how can i Have time for this?"

And the spirit starts speaking to me something I never even realized before, I tell him, "When I was in college I felt the same, so busy so many things to do. Sometimes I was tempted to think, "I'm too busy to read the Book of Mormon. Or to do this or that for God." But then even when I didn't I never was able to finish everything. But then when I put him first, read the Book of Mormon first, somehow balance came into my life and I was able to do all of them." He really understood and it hit him hard.

"Ahh balance" He understood and really left with a desire to read the Book of Mormon, it was awesome just feeling the spirit guide me to know and say what he needed.

So as I learned as the spirit spoke through me it is especailly when we are so busy that we should read, we should go to church. It is especially when we are financially stressed that we should pay tithing. Because as we put God first it allows our priorities to be where they are, and our lives balance out. We are not less productive as we balance and put God first, but it puts us right side up and we are in fact more productive as we have the right balance with God first.

Love you all!

Elder Walton


-Me and Elder Rees and Imam Abudllah down at the local mosque

-Me with Sonkei, a new chinese investigator we found on the street talking to him in all chinese.

-The plan of salvation in Vietnemese

Kiseki shu!

Dear Everyone!

This week was a really amazing week! We were really blessed by the Lord and saw a lot of progress in this part of the vineyard the Lord has given us.

I had some struggles earlier in the week. Not so much anything specific, but just a feeling of, I don't know. But I wasn't on my best game, I think it came from worry about various investigators and things, but it's all good. I did some "stress book recommended" breathing exercises. "Imagine all the stress leaving your body, like sand running through your fingers" And it was great!

Lately we have been trying to really think in advance how we can fill the next few days with appointments to teach and meaningful activities and then still find on the way to appointments and the Lord has really blessed us a lot! We taught more this week the any other week of my mission. I don't know where they came from, but the Lord has given us many people to work with, and from all over the world, we taught people from 9 different countries this week, including:


In many of their countries they would not have a chance to hear the gospel, but Heavenly Father has guided them here and given them this chance and it is so wonderful!

The one from brazil was an amazing miracle! I often read missionaries miracles of finding way prepared people and sometimes feel, "How come I never find people like that?" But this week we were biking to eikaiwa, we were pretty rushed, but my awesome companion Elder Rees felt the spirit guide him to talk to this guy on the way. Turns out he was a 20 year old brazilian (but his Japanese was native level) We quickly became friends and introduced the Book of Mormon, then he told us, "For a long time I was interested in the Book of Mormon, but I could never find out where to buy it." Boy is that something you love to hear as a missionary. So we set up an appointment, gave him a book of mormon and he is coming to church next sunday! All thanks to the Lord giving us help as we try to talk to everyone.

Recent Convert Zaima is having a rough time being able to come to church, which is sad to him too. He loves the sacrament, but we keep praying for him to be able to come to church. He told us he wants to be a missionary! And he is still progressing in the gospel, but church has become way difficult. Sometimes it makes me worry that we shouldn't of baptized him, but then I remember that at that time it seemed like it would be no problem for him to keep coming, and it felt right, and everyone else felt it was right too. I know he will be all right in the future, he does have such strong faith, he will overcome it. Please pray for him!

I worry often that I make mistakes. I have many weaknesses as a missionary. But I know He will make up for all of our mistakes as we do our best and follow him. I'm so grateful for that.

Also amazing was the miracle in the recently reactived brother Yorioka. He is alll the way back! We had fast sunday in Hiroshima and he got up and bore his testimony. I couldn't understand all of it. But he talked about rescuing the lost, how he had been less active for a while but he was grateful to be standing there before them, and he was just an awesome member bearing his testimony. Whenever we met him when he was less active he talked about this other less active sister he still was friends with. In gospel principles he showed me this note he had written for her, to help bring her back to the gospel, and he asked Elder Bowler to write one too. He said, "We're going to help her get back, we're going to rescue the lost."

It's amazing seeing so many people's lives change! I am so grateful to be a part of it.


Elder Walton

-Me and our cambodian investigator Bandos.
-Beautiful Saijo

The Melting Pot

Dear Loved Ones.

This week we had what in japanese we call Junkai (It means literally patrol or rounds) but just splits with the zone leaders. So Elder Dursteller and Ioka from Hikari came up and went with me and Elder Rees. I got to go with Elder Dursteller making him the second Timpview grad I've gotten to work with here in Saijo. Crazy right?! It was super fun and I really learned a lot from him. He was really really good at just listening to what our investigators were saying, asking questions and going deep before just going into "teaching mode." Tt really helped the investigator come to trust us and helped us feel the spirit.

On Wednesday we had a little time so we took a train 12 min out to a nearbye town a member lives called Shiraichi and visited Brother Yorioka. He wasn't home unfortunately so we left a note with DC 123:11 saying, "there are many yet in [Shiraichi] (its a town of about 500 by the way) who are searching for the truth but know not where to find it" then we wrote "We're off to go find them!" Unfortunately there was no really on the streets and we knocked several doors and still found no one.

My companion pointed to this old windy looking street up into the houses with a bunch of rundown houses and said "lets go there!". I wasnt sure, but I thought "hey why not?"

We went up and the second house we knocked on the sweetest 70 year old guy came out. We quickly became good friends with him. He showed us the pond he fishes and his boat. Then asked if we could teach him right there. And a little to our surprise he said "sure!" So we sat down and answered his question of why there were so many different churches, we testified of God's love and of the restoration, and gave him a book of mormon.

Then we left that town having talked to only 1 person in the whole town.

But it was the person God wanted us to find! It is amazing how he guides us to those he has prepared!

We had a lot of lessons set up on other days this week, but unfortunately a lot dropped/got moved to sunday. Actually a LOT got moved to sunday. So on sunday we ended up with a schedule that included church (which our mission president unexpectedly came to, boy were we surprised when we saw him walking up the street to our little rented church haha). Missionary coordination meeting, showing the sisters where an investigator we were passing to them lives, and then 8 lessons. It was madness.

Turned out 3 of the lessons dropped, but we still taught 5 which was still madness with everything else. Thankfully the christlike sisters that they are, Sister Flake and WIllies found out that we didnt have any lunch or dinner really planned, just small snacks, and so they waited outside our investigators house to give us food they made. It was wonderfully kind of them.

Tonight we are teaching four people, a man from Myanmar, a Japanese, a Muslim Indonesian, and a Taiwanese.

It's a normal day in Saijo Japan.

I have been really been changing everyday in so many ways. Become more loving, more humble, closer to the spirit and more focused on others, and it has brought me joy like nothing else! Real joy really comes from becoming more like Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for these blessings. I love all of you and I love the Lord and I love the people of Japan.


I love being a missionary! =D


Elder Walton


-Me and Elder Rees taking a lunch break near the river.

-Me and my Buddy Si from Myanmar

-Us and the 4 sisters all independants ran into each other. We often run into each other here.