News Release

Faith and Prayer Precede the Miracles 

A man and his wife from Chuuk receive answers to their prayers and witness the miracles that follow through their faith.

Walters 2024
Walters 2024
© 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sarafina Albert Walter considers her family to be a small family.  She has two brothers and three sisters.  She is from the island of Uman in the Chuuk Lagoon.  She was raised in the Catholic church.  Young missionaries came to her home to teach her family the gospel in 1983.  She had no desire to stay and listen to them.  She would leave the house whenever they came over.  Once when the missionaries left, she told her parents not to listen to them because their church was not true.  Her parents told her that they should pray for the missionaries to teach them the truth.  If their church was true, they would know it and join the Church. Out of respect for her parents, she began to stay home and listen to the missionaries.  Through all their prayers, they found out that the Church was true.  Sarafina and her family were baptized becoming members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1984.  Her family has received many blessings from joining the Church.

Sarafina moved to her uncle's house. He was also a member of the Church and he wanted her to be able to attend Seminary. Seminary taught her more about the gospel and the scriptures.

In 1985 Sarafina was called to serve as a missionary on Chuuk. She felt like she was learning the gospel along with those that she taught. She studied a lot so that she would know the gospel better.  She learned much from her companions.  She also learned a lot from a senior missionary couple serving on the island.   

Walter 2024
Walter 2024
Sarafina Walter© 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

She married Herman Walter in 1991.  They established a home in Mwen on Chuuk and were very active in the Church.  In 2014, Herman got sick, and they moved to Guam for him to receive better health care. She is currently serving in the Barrigada Ward as a Sunday School teacher.  She has a strong testimony of the gospel. She said: “Before I joined this Church, I didn’t know how to pray. I would just go to church without faith.  Now, I know that this Church is true.  I have faith in Jesus Christ.  I know that we have a prophet today and he guides us on the earth.  I know that we have temples so that we can go inside and worship God.  I am so grateful for the temple. I know that when I go to the temple, I feel good inside.  I am so happy and blessed to have been able to seal my parents together and be sealed to them as well.”  Sarafina now testifies that when we are faithful and keep the commandments, we will be blessed. “I know that God answers my prayers.” She continues to be a faithful disciple of our Savior, Jesus Christ as she shares His Light with others.

Walter 2024
Walter 2024
Herman Walter© 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Herman Walter is from the small island of Romanum in Chuuk.  “I still remember the day that my dad brought missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to my island.  At that time, there were no members on the island.  The missionaries did not speak our language.  My dad brought the missionaries to Romanum on his boat along with their belongings.  It was raining hard, and the water was rough.  I remember their mattresses and other belongings got really wet.”  The missionaries stayed at his aunt’s house. His father wanted him to listen to the missionaries even though they were all attending the Catholic church at the time.  His family listened to their lessons, but Herman said that he didn’t really listen because his mind was recalling what he’d been taught in their church.  His father was converted to the Church quickly and wanted to be baptized.  Several of Herman’s siblings also wanted to be baptized.  The missionaries told his father that he could not get baptized without Herman. “My father told the missionaries that I was just too involved in the other church.”  Herman said.  The missionaries explained that they would wait until his whole family could be baptized together.  After the fourth discussion, Herman moved to Sapuk on Moen (now Weno—the main island on Chuuk) to live with his sister, Emerenciana.

His sister was the first one in his family to join the Church.  She invited Herman to attend church with her family.  The first sacrament meeting he went to, he felt something, and it felt good.  He kept attending the Church and soon he wanted to be baptized.  The missionaries serving on Moen were contacted. Herman was baptized along with his father and several of his other siblings.  After he was baptized, his friends from the Catholic church stopped being his friends.  He returned to his island of Romanum.  He started going with the missionaries there to teach the gospel and really enjoyed it.  He decided that he wanted to be a missionary like these young men.  He submitted his mission papers and was called to serve in Chuuk as a full-time missionary for the Church.  At that time, there was not many missionaries in Chuuk.  Before his call came, the mission president asked some of his missionaries to take Herman to Paata to begin his mission.  There was only one missionary on Paata and he needed a companion.  His previous companion had finished his mission and returned home.  Herman only held the office of a Priest at this time.  He went to Paata and served there for six months while he waited for his official mission call to arrive.  When his mission call came, he went to Moen to be ordained to the office of an Elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood and set apart as a missionary. 

Herman’s mother was still attending the Catholic church at this time.  He wanted his mother to receive the gospel, but she had no desire to learn about it.  Herman talked to the other missionaries about his desire for his mother.  They explained to him that he needed to pray and fast for his mother.  He had never fasted before.  The missionaries fasted with him.  After one week of fasting and praying, he received a letter from his mom.  The sister missionaries had been teaching her the gospel and she wanted him to baptize her! Little did he know at the time that one of those sister missionaries teaching his mom would later become his wife.

Three months after completing his mission, he was called to be the first counselor in the Faichuk District presidency. At this time there were two districts in Chuuk; one was the Faichuk District, and the other one was Nomoneas District. (as of 2024 there is only one district) The Nomoneas District president found a job on Guam and moved.    The mission president called him to be the president of the Nomonaes Chuuk District.  He also began driving the mission boat taking the missionaries to the outer islands. 

The mission president called him one day and asked him to prepare the mission boat for the area president.   The area president was coming to visit the islands and check to see how the missionary work was going in Chuuk.  Herman checked over the boat and found that one of the engines was having a problem.  He called the mechanic to come and repair it.  The mechanic came and worked on the boat for three days.  The engine was still not functioning correctly.  At high speeds, the motor would shake terribly.  Herman didn’t know what to do.  The area president and the area Seventy were waiting at the hotel.  He drove to the hotel and went down close to the dock. There he knelt and pled with the Lord for help.   He prayed: “Heavenly Father, would you please bless the engine so I will be able to take your servant to the islands.”  After his prayer, he stood up and started the engine. The engine was working!  He was so grateful and knew it was a miracle.   He was able to take the area president and area Seventy to the outer islands.  When they got to Paata, one of the outer islands, they found that the branch president was at his house very sick.  The branch president asked if he could get a blessing.  Herman was able to participate in the blessing.  He was expecting the area president to bless him to be healed, but that didn’t happen.  The branch president was told in the blessing that if it was his time to go, he could go and be at rest. Herman thought to himself: “Does this mean the branch president is going to die?” When they left Paata, he told the branch president’s son to call him if his father died.  That same night after returning to his home, he received a call from the son that indeed his father had passed away.  

Herman received his endowment in the Tokyo Japan Temple.  When he returned home from his temple trip, he went spearfishing with some friends.  He fished quite a way from the island.  Because he was spearfishing, he and his friends would leave their boat and get in the water. The best time to spearfish is at night.  Sometimes they would end up quite a distance from their boat.  On this particular day, he had a feeling from the Holy Ghost that he needed to return to his boat. He felt that something had happened to the boat.  He wanted to keep fishing, so he ignored the prompting.  The feeling returned very strong.  This time he listened and told his friends that he needed to go back to the boat.  They didn’t want to quit fishing and didn’t understand what he was feeling.  Herman swam back to where their boat had been anchored and the boat was gone!  The anchor was still there, but not the boat. Herman said: “I didn’t know what to do.  I was really scared because our island was far away.  I prayed to Heavenly Father and asked Him to help us find a way so they we can either go back to our island or find our boat.  I asked Heavenly Father to forgive me for not listening.  I had been prompted to fix our boat earlier, but I didn’t listen.”  Herman went out by the reef and saw two boats anchored there.  There were people in one of them.  They asked him, pointing to the other boat, if that was his boat.  They saw that it was loose and thought it might be Herman’s, so they secured it for him. He and his friends thanked the people for rescuing their boat. “I have learned the power of prayer is very strong.” Herman said: “I know that we can pray to Heavenly Father and He will hear us. I know that our Heavenly Father is looking over us every day and knows what we’re feeling.  I know that He knows our needs.”

When he was a district president, they were having an open house on Romanum.  A lot of the youth went to Romanum to play basketball and volleyball at this time.  It took four boats to get everyone to Romanum.  They all had a great time together.   When it was time to return to Moen, it began raining hard.  Romanum is a small island in the Chuuk lagoon and about an hour and a half by boat from Moen.  Herman and the other leaders worried about getting the youth back to Moen safely.  He told them all to follow him.  He would be the lead boat.  His counselor drove one boat and the branch president from Uman drove another one.  The last boat was driven by one of the young men.  There were eight of the kids in the young man’s boat. It was getting dark, and the rain continued to pour down upon them.  Part way during the trip, he saw a boat a little way in front of him. Through the storm, it looked like it was the one that the young man was driving.  The rain was pouring making it difficult to see in front of you.  Herman wondered where that boat was going in the storm.  After arriving in Moen and not seeing the young man’s boat with some of the youth, he knew that indeed that was the young man that he had seen.  They all realized that the young man and the youth were now lost.  He and his counselor went out looking for them that night.  They returned unable to find them in the storm.  (This happened on a Saturday night.) Herman couldn’t sleep that night.  He was so worried about those young men and young women lost on the water and alone.  He prayed all night long asking Heavenly Father to protect and help those youth.  He prayed for help to find them.  He also worried because some of the young men and young women were not members of the Church and some were from inactive families.  He knew that some of their families would complain about the Church for taking their children out to Romanum.  He worried about the damage to the Church that this could cause.  Sunday morning, Herman, his counselor, and the branch president from Romanum went searching for the lost youth.  They knew how to navigate these waters even in a storm.  Good navigators can see and feel the waves and the wind knowing which direction to go.   Herman started driving boats at thirteen years of age.  He knew the waters well. He was also a fisherman.  He knew the kids would be hungry and thirsty when they found them.  He brought some water, rice, and a few cans of sardines. 

The youth were found on an uninhabited island, and they were hungry. He said: “This was such a blessing to find them.  I have faith in our Father in Heaven that He can guide us.  I know He was guiding us to this small island where the kids were waiting for us.”   Herman had a walkie talkie hooked up to receive messages to his CB radio at his house.  Parents and family members gathered around the radio waiting to hear about their children.  On the way home from getting the youth, he called in to let everyone know that they had been found and were on their way back.  Family and friends were at the dock to meet their children.  Everyone was so happy that they were safe and doing well.  “I know that Heavenly Father knows our needs, but He also wants us to exercise our faith in Him.  He wants us to ask for His help. If we have faith and ask Him, He will give it to us.” 

Herman shares his testimony saying: “I know that the Church is true.  When I served my mission, a lot of people hated me.  Some people would lock their door and not let us in.  One time me and my companion were teaching a lady in her house when one of her family members came waving a machete threating to stab me.  The lady was really scared, but I told her it would be okay because the guy was just drunk. I felt calm and continued to teach her the gospel.  I felt protected.  The drunk guy was unable to carry out his threat and left.  On my mission, when we listened to the Holy Ghost, we were kept safe. We would often be guided to the next house and people to teach.  One day while walking with my companion, we saw a big house on a hill.  It was raining a lot and I thought we could get some shelter from the rain there.  The man of the house saw us standing out there and invited us to come in.  I told them what we did as missionaries.  The people were interested so we started teaching them the gospel. I taught the family, and they were baptized.  The man later became a branch president.” 

One time, while Herman was on the island of Tonawas, he taught a young man who joined the Church and ended up serving a service mission on Chuuk as well.  He said: “It is a blessing to all those who serve a mission and preach His word to all the people. All of us are part of the gathering of Israel.”

Herman is diabetic and has kidney dialysis three times a week.  He continues to be a missionary even though he is struggling with his health.  He often asks his nurses if they have ever heard about the Church.  He asks them if they’ve seen young men in white shirts and ties walking around.  He tells them that if they want to know more about the Church, he can get their phone number and give it to the missionaries, and they will come and teach you.  He never pushes them to learn, only asks.  He has given away several Book of Mormons.  He just got a new nurse from Arizona.  Herman asked him if he knew about the Church.  His nurse told him that he saw two missionaries walking down the street and he invited them to dinner.  He has not had a lesson yet because he said he is a Catholic.  So many of his nurses over the years have asked him why he is so different from the other patients.  This gives him an opportunity to tell them about the gospel. He has invited some of them to come to church.  He tells them that there are good people that are friendly there.  During the open house of the Yigo Guam, he invited them to come.

Herman and Sarafina have six children; four boys and two girls, three of which live in Guam.  They have two grandchildren. 

Their faith and diligent efforts to live the gospel have brought miracles into their lives.  In the Book of Mormon in Enos 1:12: "And it came to pass that after I had prayed and labored with all diligence, the Lord said unto me: I will grant unto thee according to the thy desires, because of thy faith." They continue to share the gospel through words and example wherever they go.  


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