On Monday, January 24, the whole mission went to the Spanish Town Chapel for a memorial service for Elder Walker - who was shot and killed a week before. I didn't take many pictures, one of the photos of Elder Walker - Elder Powell looking at them, one of Elder Smith with our two young elders with their suits on, and one of the missionaries at Pizza Hut after the service. Elder Gary Coleman, a general authority - a seventy and in our area presidency - came from the Dominican Republic. President Hendricks conducted. The whole mission sang: Called to Serve, as the opening song. Elder Davis Emery (who was driving the van when the bullet came through it) - gave the opening prayer. The first remarks were from Elder Luke - Elder Walker's companion. He spoke briefly about his love and delight in serving with Elder Walker. He told of the teaching apt. 3 days before he was killed, when Elder Walker gave his last public testimony - and he would miss his big grin.
Sister Hendricks spoke briefly also - quoted hymn 293 - about losing a friend - she spoke to Tremain (Elder Walker's sister and only surviving immediate family member) - she said her brother was a real influence for good.
Elder Sheafermeyer and Sister Daniels sang a beautiful duet - "Consider the Lilies of the Field". Pres. Hendricks said that we are not saddened at his passing - we do not mourn at the death of a righteous man. Elder Walker received a mission transfer from earth to heaven! President Blake of Elder Walker's home branch - Sav-la-mar, spoke about at a time of grief we can be comforted - "I'll see him again - Elder Walker would like us to read our scriptures, follow our prophet.
Sister Judy Coleman said when she was 5 years old and her sister was 1, her dad was fighting in Italy in WWII - and her mother died in a house fire at a relatives. Then she told about Elder Coleman's sister and husband being killed in a car wreck and leaving 6 children age 14 to 4 years old. These things happen in life - but we need the perspective of eternity where there is no beginning and no end. Our challenge is to be happy here and live the gospel.
Elder Coleman - Pres. Monson asked Tuesday if I would come and represent the 1st Presidency and the Quorum of the 12 here. Elder Coleman met and interviewed Elder Walker last May, and remembered his valiant testimony of the restored gospel. He cautioned all involved to not place blame on themselves - if I had done this, etc. He probably was surprised at the fast entry to the spirit world - then when he saw his beloved mother (who had died December 4, 2010) - he hasn't lost anything - he has gained. He was an inspiration and finished his work here. Closing song: Beautiful Zion, built above. Closing Prayer, Jamaican Elder Allen - AP to the President. After the service several of the missionaries went to Pizza Hut and enjoyed the fellowship and lunch with each other. It was a calming day and very meaningful.