Friday, May 22, 2015

The Last Transfer

Dear beloved family and friends,

This week had many wonderful miracles as well as stretching and
growing trials. Both of which I am so incredibly grateful for!

The other morning I felt this emotional wound in my heart I couldn't
let go because of actions of others who I had been hurt by, I felt
both that emotional pain as well as resentment and difficulty to
forgive. But that morning in personal study I imagined I was in the
temple and just talked with my loving Heavenly Father. I poured out my
soul to him and sought his guidance and love to heal both the pain and
also help me to forgive. I felt the spirit speaking the healing word
of God to me and I really felt the power of the atonement  healing the
wound in my heart and helping me let go and forgive. I finished that
prayer feeling so much peace and joy and so grateful for the power of
the atonement.

As always the work isn't easy, it takes a lot of housing and working
and talking and getting rejected to find those who are ready and who
will listen, but he lord has blessed us so much! This week we were
able to teach a family named the Komesus. We met them housing and the
father, a big almost Polynesian looking Okinawan told us that he had
met a missionary twenty years ago and became friends, so he let us
come back and share our message to his wife and 16 year old daughter
as well. We gave him a plan of salvation pamphlet to read before we
met.

A day before the appointment he called us and asked we could meet that
night, so we adjusted our plans and went. We went and felt so much
warm love and acceptance from that family! And especially the daughter
was really interested and had read the whole pamphlet before we even
met her! At first they said they just wanted to listen because they
thought it was amazing how we were volunteers and giving so much. But
as we helped them see how the gospel changes hearts and strengthens
families they opened up and allowed us to come back again next week. I
am so excited!

Today is the transfer call day for my last transfer. What makes it
worse is that my last transfer is only 5 weeks. I will be happy to see
my loved ones again, but I will miss Japan and being a missionary so
much! I'm determined though that my mission will not end. I may return
home, but my mission and my discipleship in following Christ will
continue forever! And I'm so excited to live my life as a light on a
hill for those around me and love them as He would.

Me and my companion were talking about the song "come unto Christ" the
other day and I realized how amazing it truly is to be a
representative and servant of Christ. In the song the lyrics encourage
us to come into Christ and be healed by him, but often to come into
Christ we have to go towards his servants who he has called. And for
the non members and investigators here, I am that servant, to come
unto Christ, they need to come unto me and then I bring them to Him.
That is simultaneously so amazing and also such a huge responsibility
I want to give my all to live up to especially these last several
weeks. I love it so much!

Love Elder Walton
Okinawa Japan

Sent from my iPad
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video

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Fight For the Family


I was studying in the Book of Mormon about the people of king Noah and
Limhi and found a powerful example of how the family is being attacked
and also how it needs to be defended today. In the Mosiah 18 and 19 I
read how Gideon goes to fight king Noah and dethrone him, and right as
he is about to slay him they see the army of the lamanites and he
stops to save their people. Noah commands the people to flee, but as
they flee they are too slow, so Noah commands the men to leave their
families and run for themselves to save their own lives.

What an example of selfishness he was to leave those he was meant to
be a protector of simply out of his own selfishness. That philosophy
self interest is hitting the world hard today. Maybe they don't leave
them to run from a physical danger, but how often do people neglect
their families, or refuse to start building a family out of
selfishness, for careers, for personal joy or some other reason?

But then in the next few verses we find a striking contrast example to
Noah and his selfishness. Here the Lamanite armies are advancing on
the people. And the young women of the group truly rise to bravery and
courage to defend their families.

"their fair daughters [did] stand forth and plead with the Lamanites
that they would not slay them." -Mosiah 19:13

I bet these young women were young and agile, they probably could have
outrun their mothers and fathers and younger siblings. Yet despite
that, they decided not to be selfish, but to stand firm for those they
loved and for their beloved families, even risking death or worse.
These righteous young women were examples of how we need to be today.
We need to be willing to fight for the value of family. Even if we
have to give up our fears, our own interests. We need to follow their
example.

To me these young women are amazing parallel examples of bravery to
the 2000 stripling warriors, young men who were similarly fearless in
fighting for their families and fighting for the right. It shows just
how powerful youth can be when they fearlessly stand together and
stand for the right.

I love as a missionary the chance to boldly declare God's word and his
beautiful purpose for families. And I am so grateful for the amazing
family he has given me, and especially my angel mother. Happy Mother's
Day!

Love,
Elder Walton


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Monday, May 4, 2015

The Holy Sabbath

This week we taught an investigator who is named Nakayama. He is
Japanese, but he is so good at English usually we just call him his
English name, Alex.

He is a 30 year old classic happy surfer guy. He always has a huge
smile on his face and is full of laughs. He is also really spiritual
and really wants gods power and help in his life to protect him from
the temptations he faces.

Anyways this week he told us he would come to church finally after we
had invited him a few times. So on Thursday we met him with a member
and taught him about keeping the sabbath day holy so that this
upcoming Sunday could really uplift him and help him progress towards
baptism.

It was an amazing lesson, not really because of us, but because of
Alex. have never in my whole mission seen someone who wanted to keep
the sabbath day holy so much! He had such a huge desire to make that
day a really special day to come closer to God and to feel his love in
his life.

We told him about the different blessings of the sabbath day and what
kind of activities on the sabbath day help us obtain them, and then we
read a quote from Elder Nelson at the last general conference which
said

" I learned from the scriptures that my conduct and my attitude on the
Sabbath constituted a sign between me and my Heavenly Father. With
that understanding, I no longer needed lists of dos and don'ts. When
I had to make a decision whether or not an activity was appropriate
for the Sabbath, I simply asked myself, What sign do I want to give
to God? That question made my choices about the Sabbath day crystal
clear." -Elder Russel M Nelson

And then Alex amazed us by saying,

"I write down what I am grateful for every night, but so basically the
sabbath day is taking that gratitude and not just saying it but
showing it by your actions too!"

He was spot on! In my life before the mission I wasn't always the best
at following the sabbath day, I usually avoided things I knew I
shouldn't do, but I still often was focused on myself. Now however I
see that the sabbath is this beautiful day to give back to the Savior
as thanks for what He did for us. When I return home the sabbath will
be my day to really be a missionary again, to be a completely
consecrated disciple of Christ. The sabbath truly is a delight!

I am so grateful for our loving Heavenly Father who has given us these
commandments this roadmap to guide us I our lives. Isn't he great?

Love,

Elder Walton
Okinawa Japan

Photo: my previous zone leader (who also went to timpview) who had
returned a year earlier came back to my current area to visit the
members here,

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