Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fun and Laughs

A mission isn't all fun and laughs.

But you sure get your pick of them! This is just a few of the laughs I have had this week.

--One day me and my companion decided we were going to set an appointment with God. We picked a specific intersection a specific time and decided we were going to find a new investigator and he would be a guy with a hat. We get out there and its raining and wet and there aren't that many people. But we get to the appointment and wait for the man in the hat.

We waited and waited for him. 10 minutes passed after the time we set and then we saw this old man with a hat riding a bike towards us. "He must be the one! Some golden investigator who has been waiting all his life for the gospel!" We thought.

Then we tried to talk to him, but he just got really confused, "Ehhh?! What are you saying? I don't understand?" And then he just biked off....

Sigh...o much for being prepared...

But then we realized how funny the whole thing was and got a good laugh out of it.

--Yesterday in church the Mission President's counselor came and told this story of a grandma taught in his mission. The missionaries with not so good japanese or pronunciation were teaching this sweet old grandma about the law of tithing. At the end they asked her "will you pay the "Jubun no ichi?" (law of tithing)

The grandma scrunched up her face and thought really hard. She thought and thought and thought and then finally decided. "Hai jibun no uchi o utte sasagemasu!" Instead of "Jubun no ichi" which means "law of tithing" She thought they said "Jibun no uchi" which means "ones house". So that sweet old grandma heard the law of "jibun no uchi" or "Ones house" and with all the faith she could muster told them "I will sell my house and give it to the church!"

"Wait you'll what?! No no no! It's "Jubun no ichi!" It is just 10% of your income!

I love grandmas.

We had amazing miracles this week too! Especially with investigators in Nagasaki having amazing spiritual experiences on their own. Our investigator Yoshi, for example, we taught him with the district president about the book of Mormon, and then he went back to his house and then at 10pm he really started to read the book of Mormon. He read and read and got engulfed in it and felt so good. Then when he looked again at the clock it was 2 in the morning! He told us "I've always heard of people having their book of mormon experiences and feeling it's true. Now I have finally had my own!

And the sisters investigator Shiori, she has been wondering whether to keep learning from the missionaries or what to do. But they taught her yesterday and she decided to go home and pray about it all. She went home and prayed and for the first time in her life she felt this amazingly good feeling. It wasn't a voice but almost a feeling "Benkyho shinasai" Meaning "Keep studying!" and then as she wrote about it in her journal she began to cry from how good she felt.

We definitely do not convert these people, the spirit does. But if we can help them to pray, read the book of Mormon and exercise their faith then the Holy Ghost will bring the power into their souls.

I'm so grateful to be an instrument for the in His hands.


Elder Walton


My break fast every wednesday. (not really, I would die)

Me as a serious Japanese man from 200 years ago.

Nagasaki has one of the 3 best night views in the world. 

Displaying IMG_0442.JPG

Displaying IMG_0434.JPG

Displaying IMG_0416.JPG

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Trials More Precious Than Gold.

"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the coming of Jesus Christ" - 1 Peter 1:7

In past weeks I wrote a little about the trials we have been facing here. For about 2 weeks me and my companion have had some extremely difficult trials in the work where we didn't know why things weren't working out or what was going on. But now I see that those trials truly have become one of the most precious gifts of my entire mission.

Nearing the end of those two weeks me and my companion Elder Redd realized we were at a wall and didn't know where to go or what we needed to reach for. We prayed and pondered and we felt like if we could just reach for our mission president's standards of excellence then that would be what we needed. So we decided to reach the best we could. 

But then we realized how far we were away, how much there was to do. And I realized, not for the first time, but maybe most powerfully I had ever realized on my mission, how incredibly much we needed to rely on Heavenly Father and how much we needed His help and His power. It became not just a catchphrase or something we say in our head, but don't understand in our hearts. 

It sunk to the depths of my soul. 

I started praying like I haven't really before for His help and guidance, putting my heart and soul on the line.  And I feel like I finally am coming to understand not just in my head, but truly in my heart how weak I am, and how much I am dependant on Him. 

And since then in the last few weeks I feel like my heart and soul has changed unbelievable amounts. I have felt the gospel enter into me deeper than ever before. The most fundamental gospel truths have become more important to me than ever before. Me and my companion together have started to understand what this work is all about more than ever before. And it has been amazing. 

I have come to feel and see more and more what it really means to be a disciple of Christ, to be His soldier, His servant here. And frequently that feeling overwhelms so much that I almost weep at the gratitude I have to be out here. At night or while I bike I have been overwhelmed with emotion at how amazing it is that He lets us be part of this work. 

Like this last week. Me and my companion were biking, but got lost. So we, at a decision point, prayed where to go. We felt like we should go a certain direction and set off. Then partway there we saw a neighborhood and I felt strongly "We need to house there" So we stopped and started housing. After getting off our bikes we saw a staircase and also felt, "We need to go up that staircase" And so we did, not sure where we were going or why we were here.

We started housing and the third door a man came out. 

"I know you. You are mormon!" He said. (in english)

"Yeah we are we!" 

Turns out this Japanese man had met the missionaries 40 years ago and taken the lessons and gone to church then stopped there. He then moved to america and didn't have contact with the missionaries after that. 

Until 40 years later, his dad passes away. He comes back to Japan for the funeral. He sees the body and wonders "Where did my fathers spirit go?" And within a few days missionaries show up at his door. 

"I don't really believe in God, but you showing up at my door right now, even I think it's kind of weird" He told us. 

At first he didn't seem like he really was ready to hear our message saying "Oh I have your book I don't need it. I'm okay"

But we testified to him of the plan of salvation sharing Alma 40:11 from the book of Mormon and the spirit came. We felt it right there. And we asked if we could come back to meet again. To our suprise he said, 

"Yes come back. Here's my number call me." and again as we left, "Don't forget to call me!"

And we are going back tomorrow. 

After we left we felt like we were on clouds. Wow. God truly guided these two young kids. Isn't He amazing?

We still have trials, we still struggles, but I now know. He is there. And this truly is His work and we truly are his servants.

And I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

Elder Walton

Nagasaki Japan

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Trials Church and a Testimony

Dear Loved Ones,

This week was a difficult one. We have been having some struggles with out investigators lately, hitting opposition or dissappearing or the many various things that they sometimes do that make their missionaries so so sad. Like Te and Dawn still struggling with the law of tithing and coming to church, or ones that just don't respond to our calls or texts.

Then to top it all off this weekend I got influenza. Saturday morning it was just a cough, but then after dinner I started feeling a little woozy, we went out biking and finding people along the way and I just didn't feel good, I felt like my limbs didn't have a strength and I was just not all the way there. We got back at night, finished daily planning and then I just fell in my bed at only 9:27 when we finished. Sunday I woke up feeling even worse, but we had several appointments that day with new investigators and church so I did my best and went to church wearing the classic face mask that japanese people always wear when they are sick. I wanted to feel excited and happy, and I would try and make myself feel so, but the moment I stopped trying I just went back to feeling pretty crummy.

But then in sacrament meeting I had an amazing experience. According to the suggestion of another zone leader, saturday morning I had taken a little 3x5 index card and wrote on it my concerns and worries to ponder and recieve answers for at church then put it in my scriptures and forgot about it. When I sat down in church I remembered it and prayed that I could recieve answers for it, I had been worried about our investigators, worried that I wasn't doing good enough as a missionary, and I was worried for the future of the church in Nagasaki and in Japan in general.

Then in fast and testimony meeting a 55 year old single japanese man named brother Komori got up and bore his testimony. A somewhat strange fellow, he hardly ever talks to us, yet every week he brings massive amounts of vegetables to our doorstep and leaves us before we even realize we have 16 cabbages in 3 boxes that we don't know what to do with.

Anyways this Japanese brother got up and he started bearing a powerful testimony of the priesthood and the truth of the church, a testimony I had never heard from this usually quiet brother. He testified with power of the truth of the restoration of the priesthood by John the baptist and Peter James and John. And of the blessings that had come into his own life. Then he said with great sincerity, "And all of this, is thanks to these young missionaries, and their fathers and grandfathers who come to share the restored gospel with us, I amso incredibly grateful to them and I wish and pray with all my heart."

By the time he finished I was a wreck. Tear drops were dripping from my eyes wetting the chapel carpet floor. To this brother, he was just sharing a simple testimony, but to a sick, discouraged missionary, really just a kid so far from home, it meant everything. I saw right then in that brother why I was here, what I am doing and why it means so so much. God had answered my prayer.

God knows each one of us. Our worries, our challenges, our fears. And He is ready He wants to speak to us and answer our prayers! He loves each one of us so so dearly much. And so often he answers those prayers through others and especially at church!

I invite you to this week make a simple card with your own questions and concerns and worries, pray and ask the Lord for answers and then go to His place, church with full assurance that He will answer them.

He answered mine.

Elder Walton
Nagasaki Japan

Pictures: The Masked Missionary. Dendo in Disguise
The great Mican Temple
Bus roller coaster!

Displaying IMG_0355.JPG

Displaying IMG_0342.JPG

Displaying SAM_0029.JPG