News Release

"I Have Strong Faith That's Why I Stay"

A woman from Chuuk stays faithful in the Church even when life gets difficult

Emerenciana Walter 2024
Emerenciana Walter 2024
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Emerenciana Walter first heard about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when she was living in Saipan. She was in Saipan to finish her high school education.  A senior missionary couple came to her house and showed several videos about the Church. Emerenciana was brought up in the Catholic church.  This was the only religion that she knew. She learned new things from the missionaries that intrigued her.  She started attending both churches regularly. After high school, she returned to her island of Chuuk.  She was surprised to see missionaries in the village of Sapuk.  She had never seen them in Chuuk before.  She began dating a Chuukese man, who she learned after they were married, was a member of the Church. She learned a lot about the Church by attending the meetings. It wasn’t hard for her to accept the gospel and get baptized because the teachings seemed so familiar to her. She was never taught the missionary lessons but said: “The gospel just felt right.”  The day of her baptism in 1980 was extra special. She said: “I felt so blessed because the mission president was there when I got baptized! He also married my husband and I a short while later!”

Emerenciana is from an island in the Chuuk lagoon called Romanum.  She was the first one in her family to get baptized. Her Dad would often come and visit her in Sapuk where she and her husband were living at the time.  He started to become interested in the Church.  He asked if the missionaries could come to their island of Romanum.  His request was granted, and two missionaries began serving on Romanum.  These first elders were from Tonga and Gilbert. They were able to teach her father the gospel.  He was baptized followed by some of her siblings and eventually her mother.  Her mother often cooked for the missionaries and washed their clothes.  She was very active in the Catholic church. It took quite awhile before her mother gained a testimony of the gospel enough to get baptized.

Sister Walter has stayed faithful in the Church all these years.  It’s been hard for her to watch others stop coming to Church.  She said: “I have strong faith and that’s why I stay.”  When she was attending the Catholic church, she would read the Bible but never really understood what she was reading.  Through the gospel, she has been able to understand the scriptures so much better.  She has served as a Relief Society president, Sunday School teacher and Seminary teacher along with other callings that has helped her testimony to grow stronger.  She feels like there is always more to learn. 

She has a testimony about the Plan of Salvation.  She said: “Before I joined the Church, I just thought when you die that was it.  There was no life after death.  I know that the temples are the house of the Lord.  I know in the temple we are doing work for the dead.  I am grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  I believe and know that through Him we are given the privilege to be with our Father in Heaven.  Without Him, we can do nothing.  I have the faith to believe these things.  I never knew we could be with our families after this life.  There are so many blessings that come from going to the temple.  I know that Jesus Christ lives.  He is God’s Son.  I know that God has a plan for each one of us.  Our ‘plans’ may look different from each other, but if we believe, we can know His plan for us.  The temple is a place where we can feel peaceful.” As Emerenciana has gotten older, she finds it harder to get around.  Her ankles have become twisted making it difficult to walk without crutches or a walker. She has had two husbands pass away as well. She doesn’t let these trials stop her from going to church and the temple because she knows that is where the Lord wants her to be.

"Faith is the product of righteous desire, belief, and obedience."  (Elder David S. Baxter of the Seventy Oct. 2006)

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