Monday, September 29, 2014

Interview and Sacrifice

Dear Everyone!

There are so many hills in so many hills. Hopefully my brakes survive...I think one of them is already shot though. But as whenever I have struggles, I like to realize I'm not just struggling in bad rain, or up hills or mud or whatever,

I'm struggling for Christ!

So it's worth it.

This week I did my first baptismal interview. We went down to Saga after training from President and I interviewed their investigator Imamura san. At first I could tell how nervous she was. She was really nervous about what it was and if she would pass. But as we talked and she shared all the spiritual experiences she had had it was truly amazing to see how converted and changed she was. She knew it all really was true and had such a strong testimony and light in her eyes from the gospel. After she passed she threw her hands in the air punching the sky and shouted for joy!

And I was so humbled "Wow I am just this 20 year old kid, in Japan representing Christ doing a interview for someone to make one of the most important promises they can ever make in eternity" The trust God could have in someone like me is unbelievable. I only hope I can live up to that trust.

Then this Sunday Udomoto, our mongolian college student, came to church again. He was so happy and smiling that you would never even realize, that he hadn't slept at all the previous night, he had worked from 5pm the previous night to 8am in the morning with only a hour or two of break.

That's 15 hours.

15 hours of work and no sleep, and then he comes to church? When I realized that I was so blown away. "How is he even walking?" I thought. But he was as happy as ever to be there. As I watched I was so amazed at the sacrifice he was making for Christ. And how important Christ had become in his life. I was truly inspired.

Love you all,

Elder Walton


-Me and Elder Willis on Splits in Saga

-Aiko san, an investigator the sisters taught in Nagasaki at her baptism this saturday with her cute little girl. Aren't they happy?

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Dan Jones of Nepal

Dear All,

This week had some many great and crazy miracles happen!

First off me and Elder Willis taught our first zone training together. Man was that tiring. It was great being able to love and help other missionaries, but the first thing I've learned being a zone leader is that I don't know how to be a zone leader haha. But I guess humility is the first step to wisdom.

After that we had some of the first finding time we had for a while so we went off to where we heard there were some Americans. We get there and find a group of foreign college students. "Where are you all from?" we ask.
"We're all from America, except him (pointing to a student up ahead), he's from Mongolia"
The moment I heard that I dashed towards him "Sen bien no!" I called out, which means hello in mongolian (I learned form Mongolian converts in Sajio.) He was so excited that I knew some mongolian that we became instant friends and set up an appointment for the next day.

We got there and he, Udomoto, was amazing. He jumped straight into asking why we are here and about Christ. We told him and taught him about baptism and he was so excited! Apparently the past few years he has been studying christianity on his own and basically converted himself. We set up a baptismal date right there on that first visit in the lobby of a dorm. And then he came to church that week!

He walked up to us with the biggest smile on his face! He was so excited to go to church! He told us later that he had worked from 12am to 8am and then walked straight to the church at 10. Wow. He is a crazy miracle!

And then finally today we went to go meet a person from Nepal we set up a lesson with and we get there and he has a friend there so we start talking to them both outside of their japanese school. Then pretty soon there are about 7 or 8 nepalese standing around us and we are teaching them about christ in the simplest japanese we can muster. Then their Japanese teacher came out and we taught her about the Book of Mormon and shared 2 Nephi 31:20 and she loved it! "Im going to read this at work!" She told us. For about an hour all these different nepalese and vietnemese students came out switching with others and listening to us teach. Us just sitting on a bench with all these students gathered around us.

I felt like I was Dan Jones on his soap box just teaching this huge group of people. It was so amazing! I could never have imagined myself having that kind of confidence at the beginning of my mission. But God has changed me so much. I just had such a strong desire to share about how much Heavenly Father loves all of them to them and it just flowed out naturally.

Some missionaries think, wherever they may be, that there area is kind of a dead area, people have thought that about Saijo and Nagasaki, but if we simply have faith in the Lord he can do miracles we could never imagine. and He is teaching me that every single day here.

Love you all!

Elder Walton

Nagasaki Japan

Photos: Me my companion and our ward mission leader overlooking Nagasaki

a hat from the nauvoo legion apparently...?

Me and missionaries from my MTC district at Mission Leadership Conference

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Also here in Nagasaki we get so so so much fruits and vegetables and stuff from a member of our ward. Like really it is ridiculous it goes bad before we can use it all. But hey I'm not complaining.
Stew Packets

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Nagasaki Nostalgia

Dear everyone!

Well I had a great long letter for everyone written then.....I suddenly saw on the screen "your message has been discarded"

Technology has foiled me again haha.

Anyways I guess I will do the quick version. 

As I predicted I have indeed...


I am now in Nagasaki with an elder from my district in the MTC named Elder Willis. He is a really great Elder and I am really excited to work with him. We are both zone leaders. I haven't done anything but be a normal missionary so far so I am a little nervous, but I know the Lord called me so he is definitely going to be with me, guiding me and helping me. I am excited for this opportunity to learn love and grow. 

Right now we don't have any investigators, but as we planned we asked the Lord what his plan and vision was for us. And we made a plan of how many people we want to help make a covenant to follow him by Christmas. It was a pretty bold plan, I wasn't entirely sure it we could do it. But me and Elder Willis kneeled and asked the Lord if this was his Plan. Because if anyone is going to hasten the work it is him. And we felt a powerful confirmation that this is what the Lord wanted us to do and that we really could accomplish this bold plan. I know that with His help even this crazy miracle is possible. 

I got the chance to testify in Nagasaki church yesterday and I told them about how when I first came to Japan, I struggled, being rejected, blaming myself for people not listening etc...and it was really rough. But then on the first sunday I came up from Sasebo to Nagasaki for district conference and as I sat there listening to the speakers barely understanding anything I was so inspired by the faith of all these amazing members. So many japanese people faithful to christ and His gospel and I wept and was filled with the spirit. As I stood at the pulpit almost a year later relating that experience I again felt emotion and had tears come to my eyes. As I expressed my love to these good faithful members I felt so much love for them and I felt that this is my new family. And I love them so so much. 

So I am sad to be gone. But I know here in this new family there is so much joy to be found and people to be helped and I'm so  so so excited to dive into it all. 

Love you all!

Elder Walton 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The 300 Soldiers of Gideon

This week me and my companion Elder Rees were looking at our family history and I saw his fan chart and guess what I found? I found my own ancestor Drusilla Dorris! Apparently we aren't just best friends and brothers in the gospel we're 4th cousins! It only took us 7.5 months of being companions to find out. 

Just in time because it turns out I'm getting transferred out of Saijo after a year of serving here. I still don't know where I am going yet. But I am definitely gone. I'm sad to go, but I know the Lord has a bright future for me and great work for me to go!

In the bible there is a story of a Israelite captain named Gideon. At one point a large, I think Syrian army, comes to Jerusalem to capture and destroy it, far larger than any army the Israelites could gather, but the Lord tells them He will deliver them into the Israelites hands. So Gideon goes up with an army of several thousand, but the Lord says, no too many, and he narrows the army down to only a few thousand, then still the word is still no too many, narrow it down. So the army is narrowed down to just 300 soldiers, that way when they win there will be no way they can ever attribute it to any strength but God's. So God uses that little army, to confuse an army of tens of thousands to fight itself so that Israel does win without losing a single man. 

A few months ago our mission president set a goal that reminds me of this crazy prospect. 300 men versus 30,000+ enemies?

Our President received revelation in order to help more of God's children come to Him feel the joy of church and the spirit to set for this mission a goal of 200 non members at church throughout our mission on this past Sunday. To put this in perspective...

Our average mission amount is like 60 or 70, and our high is 85.

How could we possible get 200? Over double our entire mission high? 

Well how could 300 beat 30,000? When we have faith, the Lord performs miracles. 

In Saijo we took that to heart and decided our goal for just saijo would be 15 non members at church. About double the best we had ever done. So we gave it our all. Maybe my faith wasn't quite up to President Gustafsons but I believed and worked to see it.

Then this Sunday was crazy! We just watched as person after person came into church. People who have never been before, people who haven't in a long time. We hit our building capacity! (Which is actually pretty small because we are a small group in a small room haha) But it was a miracle! And we just barely hit our goal!

We waited that night for the news from the mission home, would we reach that crazy goal? Would we even get somewhat close? 

Then the news came in.

208 people came to church and felt God's love there. 

So many people will come to know God because of this miracle!

I was astounded! That was like two and a half times our best!

I felt like the soldiers of Gideon, because I knew right then. There is no way that was because of us. That was all because of the Lord. 

This week we taught Yamashita san about the word of wisdom. He has a smoking addiction. Please pray for him that he can overcome it! He needs your prayers! 

Love you all!

Elder Walton
For the last time, from Saijo Japan

-All of our various language proselyting materials
-Saijo at night
-Elder Woods Birthday

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Picture Week

Dear Everyone,

I'm going to have to apologize. I spent an entire week of my life, but I still feel like there is not anything to write about. Which is definitely a complete lie as we had an a zone p-day, helped two investigators set baptisimal dates, had a huge open house, a miracle filled sacrament meeting, and tons of miracles feeling God speak to people with the spirit.

It's just all so normal to me.

This really was a wonderful week! I just have become so used to all these things, but there were many miracles!

One thought we learned was about humbly following our leaders. We had some great training from the assistants and president and we really were inspired! We really tried to apply all of it this time around and it made such a big difference!

At one point though we got a little bit confused at what our zone leaders and the assistants were saying because they told us we need to drop the baptismal date of Yi song, the chinese college student because he is going on visiting his family for a few weeks, when he is actually a way solid date. Even our district leader was really confused. At first we were kind of miffed, but then we realized that we are in a Great War with Satan. And that that is exactly what Satan wants. He wants the forces of God to forget about him and fight each other, for the troops not to trust their leaders and go into chaos while he sits back and laughs. So we decided to be humble meek and submissive. Then that same day we met another chinese college student investigator and were able to set a date with him, and then a few days met another investigator and set a date with him too! It was a way huge miracle I attribute to blessings of The Lord for being meek and submissive.

We also this week had an open house that many investigators and members from Hikari came to including a less active mother in a family where only the husband is active, then the very next day the less active daughter came to church! And she became really good friends with the sister missionaries! It was miraculous!

Yamashita san and Yi song are both doing so good! They are loving the gospel and really have their hearts change and converted as they feel the spirit.

I love being a missionary! I love Saijo! I really hope I don't leave in a week and half, but I might. Then again I've said that like 4 times already and here I am still! Our ward mission leader predicted I'd stay though! Round 9 Round 9 Round 9!

But really it's wherever The Lord needs me. He's got a plan!

Love you all!

Elder Walton

-Our open house had tons of way cool posters!
-Me and our investigator Yamashita san and then the stake presidency 2nd counselor and his wife. (We're way good buds)
-Me and my main man Yi Song, another investigator

-Brother Tohma and the Lambs. They are all so wonderful!
-Making Takoyaki (Cooked bread balls with octopus in them) I had a few of the real Takoyaki, but my stomach struggled. I mostly ate our foreigner ham and cheese ones we also made haha.
-Zone p-day river adventures! We had a zone pday with sports, trying to go to an art museum that was actually too expensive, and then so so much gelato It was so delicious!