Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Christmas

Hello Friends and Family, 

I know this email is coming a tad later today, and that is due to the fact that I have been puking my guts out since 5am this morning. It has been pretty rough, I'd give you more details but they aren't super pleasant. 

This past week has been filled with so much stuff. Last P-Day I met a crazy guy at Fred Meyer while trying to buy groceries who was telling me about how he can talk to animals and he cooked breakfast for a group of deer once. He also said that one time in the woods he had a swarm of bees come and make a beard on his face. I asked him what he did for a living and he said he was a mushroom picker, things started to make more sense then. 

On Wednesday the mission had a Christmas Gathering in Yakima with all of the southern zones in the mission. The house was HUGE and the food was so good and it was great to see other missionaries again, especially my MTC companion Elder Nelson. Each zone put on a skit and we all watched Meet the Mormons and then they passed out t-shirts and mail to everyone. It wasn't the same as spending Christmas at home, but it was nice to spend a day with the mission family. 

Thursday we got a TON of snow. I'd guess at least a foot. Coming from Texas, it was pretty cool to see. Elder Brassanini and I spent the whole day shoveling snow for people in town. It was a day filled with hard work, but a fun type of hard work. 

On Saturday we had Paola's baptism, which was such a cool experience. She was so excited and looking forward to it, and she really wanted her Mom to be there to support her. Her Mom had been supportive in the beginning and was planning on attending, when at the last minute she backed out and told Paola that she didn't think it was necessary and wasn't going to be there. Paola broke down and was devastated. Her Mom means so much to her and really wanted her support. Paola looked at us and told us that she still knew that it was the right thing to do and was the right path to take. Her faith in the face of adversity was a great example to me, and reminded me greatly of one of my favorite scriptures: Helaman 5:12

*In the voice of Ron Weasley* Happy Christmas, everyone. 

Mi amor por ustedes es mas grande de la luna. 

Con Mucho Amor, 

Elder King

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Best Burger I've Ever Had

Friends and Family, 

As you can read by the subject of this weeks email, I must tell you all of the marvelous experience I had this past week. My new trainer and I had a meeting Tuesday in Yakima, and the member who drove us up decided to take us out to lunch afterwards. In Yakima, there is a burger place known as Miner's. I've heard things about it and it's always kind of been this fantasy mystery land that missionaries talk about here and there. It's almost a missionary folk tale here in Yakima. And let me tell you, it lives up to the legend. 

This burger was incredible, and I'm talking truly incredible. I can honestly say, as a missionary, that this burger is a little piece of heaven on earth. I just needed to tell all you people about the greatness that is Miner's. Just like that one episode in Spongebob when someone jumps up on the table and starts singing about a Krabby Patty, that was me after eating the burger at Miner's. 

In other news, this past weekend was Stake Conference. To my recollection, I don't think I've ever attended a Stake Conference that didn't experience technical difficulties. The sound system at the Stake Center wasn't working, so everyone in the stake that could possibly fit tried to cram themselves into the Chapel and the gym to hear the speakers. Despite all of the chaos going on, it was still a great conference. 

On Saturday I got to see Gary's baptism. Gary is this man that Elder Wilson and I found knocking doors a couple weeks ago and talked with him for a little, and referred him over to the english missionaries. He is such an awesome guy, and it was really cool to see the fruits of our labor. Our investigator Paola was there, and had such a great time. She kept talking about how beautiful it was and is planning on being baptized this Saturday! She is so excited and eager to come one step closer to her Savior. There have been so many miracles that I've experience while teaching her. She is so awesome. 

Two of my students in my English class received their first graduation certificate for attending for 6 weeks! They are learning so much and it's so much fun to work with them as I help them learn English. The biggest struggle for all of my students is the letter 'v'. We had a fiesta to celebrate Christina and Haydee's 1st graduation with vegetables and vanilla ice cream to help work on their v's. There is a total of 4 certificates that people can earn, and everyone loves coming to the class so much and really wants to earn their certificates. 

I hope you all are having a great holiday season, and I invite you all to check out the video online called "A World Without a Savior". It is very powerful, and a great Christmas message. There are so many great videos coming out this time of the year, so if you're looking for anything to help procrastinate whatever you should be doing I'd recommend those. I love you all!

Con Mucho Amor, 

Elder King

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Crazy Week

Hello friends and family!
This past week has been such a crazy week. Wednesday was transfer day, and from last weeks transfer calls we were under the impression that Elder Wilson and I would be staying together and working for this next transfer here in The Dalles. We received a call from the mission president at about 8:00am on transfer day informing us that Elder Wilson would be emergency transferred up to Brewster in Washington and that I would be receiving a new companion to finish my training.
Man oh man, as happy as I was for him to have the opportunity to serve in a new area I was so sad to be losing him. Over the past 6 weeks I have grown to love him so much. He was an amazing missionary, an amazing trainer, and an even greater friend.
Interestingly enough, that day our area was covered in snow and ice. We called our zone leaders and they told us to wait until the afternoon to try and drive our way up to the transfer site in Goldendale and that the Assistants to the President would be there that evening to pick up the missionaries that were getting transferred. We made it up there very carefully and there were 5 of us waiting at the new cabin where the Goldendale Elders were living. We did some service in the area, shoveling snow and helping people move stuff out of the basement and whatnot until 7:00when we received a call from our mission president informing us that we were essentially stranded in this little cabin in the middle of nowhere for the next 36 hours. All of the roads were completely frozen over and we were not permitted to do any driving and were told to hold out there until somebody could come and get us.
It was a series of crazy events, but truly a blessing in disguise. I got to spend an extra day and a half with Elder Wilson and Elder Jarvis, having fun and doing our best to not freeze. It was so much fun.
If there's one thing I've learned thus far in my short time that I've had living life is that sometimes people leave. And sometimes unexpectedly. Mourn the loss, take a deep breath, and start living again.
I hope you all have a great week this week and don't end up stranded in a cabin in a frozen forest for 36 hours! Well, I guess if you do I had a pretty good time so maybe you will too. Love you all!
Con Mucho Amor,
Elder King
Pictures: The first one is of me with this giant truck at an orchard after Icemaggedon. The second is the final picture I took with Elder Wilson at the transfer site before he left.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

It truly is one of the most wonderful times of the year. Thanksgiving is one of my top holidays. I decided to try and arrange the holidays in order of most favorite to least. 4th of July is definitely first, and I put Thanksgiving second. From pie and turkey to the attitude of gratitude, it is so awesome. And let's not forget that dreadful day many moons ago where I proposed to Thanksgiving after getting my wisdom teeth pulled. I love Thanksgiving the same, if not more, than I did on that day. 

Over the past week Elder Wilson and I have experienced a TON of trials and rejection. There reached a point where we felt like we were giving everything we had to the work with and achieving nothing. One night I decided to just sit down and start making a list of all of the things I have to be grateful for. I started writing things down and I began to realize how much I have been blessed. From the names of people I have gotten to know to the memories I have, it made all the trials of this past week seem so insignificant. 

There are so many things in our lives that can so easily be taken for granted. However, there is one thing I'd like to focus on. The people in our lives. Sometimes it feels like we have an unlimited number of people in our lives, when in reality we are only blessed to come to know a select number. A taxi driver in New York might feel like he knows thousands upon thousands of people, but over the course of his life he might only come to know a couple hundred on a personal basis. I hope all of this is making sense, the point I am trying to make is that we only have so many people in our lives, and I am so grateful to have all of you in my group of people I have been blessed to know. Share your love and gratitude for those around you over this next week. William Shakespeare once said, "They do not love, that do not show their love." As crazy as life can be, never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved. 

Enjoy this thanksgiving week, eat some pie and turkey for me! 

Con Mucho Amor, 

Elder King

Pictures: The first picture is of me on top of this little mountain, literally almost touching the clouds. The clouds get so low here and it is so beautiful here in the gorge to be driving along the Columbia River. The second photo is of me being goofy and posing with a sign on someone's door that says "Este Hogar es Catolico". I thought it was funny so I just made the most ridiculous face I could with it. Hope you enjoy

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


This week has been pretty crazy. So much has happened. I must be king of the animals down here in The Dalles or something, because as Elder Wilson and I were going around knocking doors we saw this deer hanging out in someone's yard. It first looked like a statue and so we started walking up to the door when we saw it start to move and realized that it was a live deer just chillin' in this lady's yard. I wanted to see how close I could get to it so I just started walking right up to it and it just came up to me and started sniffing me and nuzzling itself against me. It was insane in the membrane. Elder Wilson and I were blown away because all of the deer here are so scared and skiddish and it was crazy to get so close to one. I now refer to that deer as our newest investigator, Bambi.
I also am a local celebrity among the hispanic kids here in the area. There is an apartment complex here that is almost entirely hispanic and I carry around stickers with me wherever I go and all of the kids now that when they see me they can just run up to me and ask for a sticker and get one. It's funny how much a kid loves something as simple as a sticker. I've searched for Spider-Man stickers, but I am currently carrying around Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Stickers. It is so fun to talk with the kids and give them high fives and pass out stickers.
I got to visit with one of the investigators in the area this week, his name is Aryan. He has had such a hard past and spent some time in prison and has tattoos all over himself, and even has a swastika on his neck. That's how rough and tough of a guy he is. As we were sitting in church, I looked over and saw him while we were singing and realize that here is this ex-felon, covered in tattoos, singing "I'm trying to be like Jesus". It was incredibly powerful moment that showed me that no matter what your past might be, with the right message and the right goals anyone can become a better person.
I know I thank everyone every week but I am just so grateful for all of you. With Thanksgiving coming around the corner I encourage you to take time to really reflect on how much you have in your lives. I am so thankful for all of my memories with each and every one of you and for the future memories with you all that are to come. 

Pictures were given me a hard time to attach and so I am only able to attach 2 pictures. The first one is with my newest investigator, Bambi. She nuzzled right up to me and so I did the best I could to take a selfie. The other is with my fan club, as they flock to me for stickers. I hope these two will suffice your picture needs for this week!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Winter is Coming

Amigos y familia!
Weeks are days and days are weeks out here in the mission field. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was writing you all and updating me on the adventures out here. In the words of Ned Stark, "Winter is coming." Temperatures are dropping, but for all who know me, it's still tropical.
An unexpected trial that I have began to face out here in the mission field is how much food people want me to eat. On ThursdayI had dinner with a family who fed us a huge meal, and then later at the english class we teach at there were cookies there, and one of our students invited us over to his house for his wife's birthday party where there was another dinner and dessert. Especially in the hispanic culture, it's considered rude if you don't eat any food they provide for you. I'm learning to eat very slowly and never finish anything, despite how tasty and free all the food may be. It makes me extremely grateful for the time I have in the morning to exercise.
That same evening we visited a man named Augustine. He is so funny. He LOVES karaoke so he spends thousands of dollars on karaoke equipment and invites us over to sing karaoke with him and teach him a lesson. It's hilarious because he lives in this little trailer with his wife and he will just sing karaoke by himself every night.
Today marks the 2 month mark of my time out in the mission since I have left home, and every day I am reminded how much happiness the message I share brings me. Even while tracting houses in the rain out here in the Oregon equivalent of the Land of Desolation I love the work.
As always, I love you all! And I know that people say that all the time, "Ahhh love you guys." But I really mean it. Until next Monday, keep rockin' and rollin'.
Con Mucho Amor,
Elder King
Pictures: For my two pictures (the only pictures I took this week) I have me with some cool deer that were straight chillin up in the hills of Oregon. Also I found this chicken just walking around in the street, with no idea how it got there. I'm thinking of starting up a farm animal gang or something. Give me ideas on what it could be called. ​I attached them as attachments this week as apposed to included in the email. Let me know what works better. I can't seem to fit both pictures in one email, so I'll send a second email with the chicken picture.

Oh Deer!

A Missionary and his Chicken

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Keepin' it Cool in The Dalles, OR

Homies back home,
This week has been filled with so much good. The Dalles, OR is such a great place to be. It gets so dark here so early however, so by 6:00 it's pretty much pitch black. Makes for some interesting evenings!
Something really cool that happened this week was my companion and I had a lesson appointment cancelled on us, so we just started walking the streets and knocking doors to see if we could share a quick message or provide some service. As we were walking, I saw this lady trying to change the windshield wipers on her car. Having done that a few times here and there, I asked if I could help her out. I chatted with her and got to know her a little bit while changing the wipers, and after I finished Elder Wilson and I shared a quick thought with her and went on our way. Elder Wilson looked at me as we turned the street corner and jokingly said, "Why don't we just keep walking around and see if anyone else is placed in our path for us to serve." Less than a minute later we saw an older woman sitting in her car by herself with the light on. We walked over and explained who we were and asked if there was anything we could do for her. Without a moment of hesitation she replied, "Yes! With groceries!" We gathered all of the groceries out of the back of her car and carried them up the stairs to her apartment. She explained that her daughter, who normally helps her, was out of town, and she wasn't sure how she was going to be able to get her groceries up the stairs. I absolutely love serving others, and it is just so cool to see that people are placed in our lives for specific reasons. There are no coincidences.
Another night we knocked on a door and met such an awesome family. They immediately invited us in for dinner and didn't even know us. Their names were Jose and Beatriz, and they had two kids. They fed us some of the best food I have ever eaten... cactus! It is so good, And super healthy too! They were some of the nicest people I have ever met.
One of my favorite things that I get to do out here is teach an English class to the hispanics in the area. It is a blast. I have about 10 students and they all work so hard on pronunciation, we spent nearly an entire class just learning the word, 'young'. Each week more and more people attend and it is just so great to get to talk with all of them and get to know them.
Something I've been learning ever since I've left Mexico City and arrived here in The Dalles is the important of attitude. The work out here can be incredibly hard and difficult and frustrating, but I've come to learn that we can either permit our environment to determine our attitude, or we can let our attitude determine our environment. 
I love you all so much! Be happy, smile more, and may the force be with you.
Con Mucho Amor,
Elder King
Picture Update: I actually have my own camera now! I'm still trying to get used to taking pictures of things I do, hopefully I'll get better. The first picture is a picture of Elder Wilson on Halloween and I with the kids of this awesome woman we are teaching, Jackie. The second picture is of Elder Wilson and I after a long day of work back in the apartment in front of our famous Thug Zone sign, because yes. I am always thuggin'. Even out here in The Dalles. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Few Pictures from the Mission Home

The Yak Pak (aka The Lost Tribes of CCM)

Breakfast at the Mission Home

First companion - Elder Wilson

From Dallas to The Dalles, OR

Friends, Romans, Countrymen,
There is so much that has happened in the past week and a half. I am in my first area for the Washington Yakima Mission, and out of all the areas in the mission I was assigned to The Dalles, OR, How ironic? My first area isn't even in Washington. It is so beautiful here though, there is an actual fall. Leaves are changing color and the weather is beautiful and there are so many beautiful trees everywhere. It is amazing.
I had a plethora of adventures while traveling up from Mexico City. We left at 2:30 in the morning to make it to the airport and traveled all day and once we arrived in Yakima, it turned out that nobody in the mission office knew that we were coming that day. We were stranded for an hour or so at the Yakima Airport, which is the smallest airport I have ever seen. Luckily, we knew a phone number we could call and asked to borrow somebody's phone and got in contact with someone who informed President Lewis that he had 5 Elders waiting to be picked up at the Airport. Since then, we have been referred to as the Lost Tribe of Mexico.
My trainer's name is Elder Wilson. He is so awesome. He is from Huntington Beach California and he is the best trainer in the entire mission. His Mom is from Peru and his Spanish is so good. I am so glad to have him at my side, because the latinos here speak so fast and mumble a lot but he picks up all of it and is able to help me out.
I could spend this entire email describing the beauty of Yakima Washington and The Dalles, OR. There is so much good here and I love this place so much. Even more than the scenery, I love the people. The other day we met this woman named Widge, and she is one of my favorite people. She is an older woman and has 4 kids who have all left the nest and she is so eccentric and interesting. When we knocked on her door, we asked if there was any service we could provide for her. She informed us that Halloween is her favorite holiday and that she loves to decorate her yard as much as possible, and that she was just thinking that this year she wouldn't be able to decorate because she can't move all the boxes. We set up a time later in the week and went back and helped her decorate her lawn and she had the coolest stuff I have ever seen. She had a hand chair carved entirely out of wood from Thailand in her house, and so many Halloween decorations you wouldn't believe. She made us apple pie to thank us for helping her and invited us to come back any time.
Another woman that we have had the chance to serve is a lady named Reba. She lives in a retirement home and we get to visit her twice a week to listen to her tell us stories about her life so that we can write them down and make a little book for her about her life. It is so much fun, and she has some of the best stories. Some of my favorites were the stories of her Grandpa who was an explosives expert who lost his eye and had a glass eye that he would throw at her to freak her out. The story of how her husband proposed is also pretty amazing. His parents had died and he was feeling pretty depressed, so she decided to invite him to her cousin's wedding. They had been dating for a while, and she figured that a celebration of happiness would cheer him up. His response was, "I'll go to a wedding... If you're the bride!" They were married a couple months later.
The work out here is so much harder than everything back in Mexico City. However, the little victories make all the difference. There's a man named Ernesto that we are teaching and he has two little boys, Hernan and Abraham. He is such an awesome guy, and his kids are a blast. Hernan keeps all of the commitments that we leave with them, and Ernesto follows as well. Abraham is such a little ball of energy, and loves to run around all the time. Yesterday at church he just ran up to me and hugged my legs. There is no better feeling than knowing that you are making a difference in somebody's life.
I love this work so much! It is so hard, but the results make it so worth it. I have found that the key to success out here is completely devoting yourself to whatever you are doing. No holding back. All engines on. When you devote yourself entirely to a task, whatever that may be, you find yourself loving whatever it is, no matter what might be going on. I am reminded of a quote by one of my heroes, Abraham Lincoln. "Whatever you are, be a good one."
I love you all so much and I hope that you can feel my love for you all the way from out here in The Dalles!
Con Mucho Amor,
Elder King
P.S. For the pictures, I attached 3 from our service we did with Widge. The first one is me with my companion, Elder Wilson (who is wearing a mask) just goofin' around while putting up decorations. The next is of my height being utilized to hang a giant spider in a tree. You can see Widge helping me out and my companion dressed as some ca$h money. I plan on getting a camera today so I should have more pictures for next week!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

William is in Washington!

Dear Missionary Family,

We are delighted to report that your missionary has arrived safely to the Washington Yakima Mission.  We already love them and are excited to serve with them.  We are confident that they will become an effective instrument in the hands of the Lord in sharing the gospel with the people of Washington and Oregon.

We have assigned them a companion who is an experienced, devoted, and motivated missionary.  All of our missionaries understand that one of the greatest privileges available in the mission is to train a new missionary.  This first companion will be a special person in your missionary’s life and will help give them a great start here.

We feel that our greatest responsibility is the care and welfare of your child.  We want to assure you that we will be in regular contact with them and will be observant of their physical health, happiness and spiritual well-being.  We will work closely with them throughout their mission to help them succeed and fulfill their calling as a representative of the Church and as an ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Please be assured that we will be in contact with you if we encounter any concerns that would call for your attention.  You are a great asset to the success of your missionary while they are serving here and we will work closely with you if the need arises.  Please keep us apprised of any changes to the address, phone number or email for you, your bishop or your stake president.  We want to keep our records current so that we can contact you whenever necessary.

Attached is a photograph of your missionary taken with us at the welcome dinner at the mission home.  Please feel free to contact us at the mission office with any questions that you may have.

Thank you for the sacrifices you are making at home to have your missionary in the field.  We have seen the Lord bless the families of missionaries who are serving in untold ways.  We know that His blessings will be upon you as well.

With love and appreciation,
President John C. Lewis and Sister Ann Lewis

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Final Email from Mexico City. Tune in next week for Washington!

Aloha everyone, 

This week has been crazy busy and has flown by so fast. I only have a couple more days in Mexico City before I head up to Washington for the next two years, Sad to leave the beautiful city and culture of Mexico, but very excited to be returning back to the States. My spanish has improved a ton, despite my hawaiian greeting for this weeks email. 

Something that I already knew but was reminded of during this past week is that life is hard. Sometimes I think that it's the hardest thing there is. It can be really difficult to move past the trials we have in our lives with a positive attitude and a hard working disposition. I am reminded of a simple quote from Star Wars, to stay on target. Through all the difficulties that the big bully known as life decides to place before us, stay on target. Stay on target. Stay on target. Don't literally stay on the roof of your local Target, but stay on target. 

I love you all and love hearing from you. Remember to always have fun and make jokes. Comedy is the ice that makes the Coke of life drinkable. 

Buenos Nachos, 

Elder King

P.S. I actually have some pictures this week! They aren't the best, but hey. At least I have pictures. Included are pictures on the bus going through Mexico City and pictures with my district and my zone. 

Last Week's Email a little late

¿Que Pasa Calabasa?

If you haven't noticed already, one of my favorite past times thus far is finding cheesy greetings in Español that rhyme. Everyone around me cringes each time I use one. There is no greater satisfaction. 

I have officially been inducted into the elite society of respected gringos here in Mexico City, because this week I scored two goals while playing futbol. It was complete luck honestly, and after I scored I did the whole thing where I ran around with my arms held out wide screaming,"GOAAAAAAAAAAAL" because I was so proud of myself. The latinos that I was playing with were cracking up and we later won the game 3-2, so they decided to show me some of the cool handshakes that go on around here in Mexico. People should use cool handshakes more often. 

This past week everyone has been pretty burned out and ready to leave the CCM and head out to the mission field. I've come to accept the fact that I will be exhausted for every second of the next two years. The other night, I was doing some studying while my companion was getting ready for bed. After a while I realized that I hadn't seen him in a while and figured he must have been in the bathroom. I called out for him and got no response, which was extremely odd, considering the fact that we're together all the time. I opened the bathroom door and found him asleep on the porcelain throne. It was hilarious. 

I got to meet with an investigator last night named Josephina. When we first walked in and greeted her she started spouting out spanish so fast I swear I could see smoke coming out from her jaw. I looked at my companion and back at her and we had no idea what she had said. She winked and started cracking up and explaining in much slower spanish that she just wanted to see the expressions on our faces when she spoke as fast as she could. She was very nice and explained that a friend from work had referred her to come to the CCM and talk with us. We shared a quick lesson with her and before we closed, her eyes lit up and she looked at us and smiled and told us that she thought that we were great people and thanked us so much for talking with her. That small and simple comment made my day. There are times in our lives where we work so hard and do our best, and only get something small in return. It is easy to look back and think, "Wow. What a waste of time. I did everything I could and all I got was that?". If there is one thing I've learned during my time here in Mexico City so far, it is to be grateful for the small things. 

I love you all and am grateful for the impact that each and everyone of you has had on my life. I leave you with the surprisingly profound words of Bill S. Preston and Theodore Logan, "Be excellent to each other! And party on!"

Hasta Pasta, 

Elder King

Saturday, October 3, 2015

!Viva Mexico!

Hola Hola Coca-Cola!

Hope that you are all doing well. I love hearing from you all each week, it really means a lot to me. Two nights ago there was an earthquake somewhere in Mexico and the sirens went off and we were all supposed to leave our houses and go stand in these safe zones that are marked all over the place here in Mexico City. I was sleeping and was the only one in my room that woke up,and I thought that I was receiving a vision or something because the sirens sound like a ton of trumpets blasting. No angel appeared so I just went back to sleep. 

The days here go by pretty slow but the weeks go by so fast. I honestly feel like it was like three days ago that I was emailing you all. The routine is pretty much the same thing everyday. Wake up, breakfast, study, lunch, study, dinner, study, bed. 

My district has reached the point where we try and speak solo español every Monday Wednesday and Friday. I've gotten pretty good at speaking the language but writing is much harder. I can read fairly well and understand. Every Wednesday I have the job of meeting the new people as they arrive here and so last night at dinner some of them asked me to speak in spanish to them and they all freaked out at how fast I could speak. Little did they know that all I was saying was, "I have hot cheese in my pants and I love talking with my pet bear." I love messing around with the younger Elders and Hermanas here. 

I miss playing Quidditch so much. Whenever I clean my house on P-Day I take the brooms we have and just walk around with it between my legs. I wish the CCM had equipment here that we could use so I could teach people how to play. I also miss math. Am I going crazy? Sometimes I´ll just give myself a little math problem to do just for fun. What has my life come to. 

I'm about to go get my haircut, and the way haircuts work here is you just make an appointment, sit in a chair and they just cut however they like. I hope I end up with a cholo cut or something. Love and miss all of you. I don't have any pictures this week (yet), I'm still waiting for Hermana Moline to send me the one we took last week after playing basketball and volleyball. I´ll try and get more pictures for you next week, but I will definitely start sending more once I get out in the field. 

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder King

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Adventures of Elder King in Mexico

Dearest friends and family, 

Mexico City continues to get more interesting every day. I forgot to mention that last week there was Mexican Independence Day and all of the locals here went loco. They were singing a dancing all through the night, launching fireworks and shooting off guns into the night sky. At 3 in the morning I was awoken by a very intoxicated local singing karaoke to some song that I didn't recognize. It would have been much more enjoyable and hilarious if he didn't continue to sing until 5 in the morning while I was trying to sleep. I already knew that sleep is sacred time, but I have discovered a new appreciation for sleep that I didn't think was even possible. One of the Elders who sleeps in the same room as me, Elder Wunderlich, snores and talks in his sleep. Last night he sat up in his bed and screamed, "ES MUY IMPORTANTE! But I think that you´d like it." and went immediately back to sleep. I cracked up and was laughing to myself. 

I miss TV and movies and music. Sometimes during our breaks my district and I will start breaking into song and singing and dancing, it´s really fun. We had a full rendition of "You Make My Dreams Come True" by Hall and Oates going on the other day. I proposed the idea that we create a CCM mixtape. I like debating movie and TV trivia during our meal time. Does anybody remember what the angels are called who sang with Illuvitar to create the world in Tolkien's The Silmarillion? I can´t remember and it's driving me crazy. 

Yo hablo mucho español todo la tiempo. Los otros Elderes y Hermanas en my districto no entienden mucho, enotonces yo ayuda ellos con la idioma. Yo hablo mas rapido de antes me tiempo aqui en la CCM. A mi me encanta la idioma. 

I'm sure there are tons of mistakes in that last paragraph. I talk with tons of locals here and joke around with them, I love the sense of humor in Mexico. They like to laugh at death. I was talking with one of my amigos about his mission and he said he's going to a part of Mexico notorious for chopping peoples heads off. He just kept laughing and laughing about it, which I found even more funny. I hope he doesn´t get his head chopped off. 

I got to meet with a woman last night named Maria. She was such a sweet lady, her husband is extremely stubborn and her brother lost his vision from diabetes. She was talking with me about how she wanted her family to feel loved and I shared my experiences with love and family. I couldn't help but smile the whole time as I talked about how I know that families bring as a sense of happiness unlike anything else. At times it can be frustrating when I meet and teach people because I know what I want to say in ingles but can't fully express myself in español. I've learned to just start taking more and more leaps of faith in the language, which has taught me a lot. 

I joined the choir here at the CCM and so I perform every Tuesday with the other Elderes y Hermanas here. I like it a lot and it help me a ton with the language. All the studying and learning I do with the language makes me incredibly grateful for my spanish classes I had in school. I guess I learned more than I thought I did. 

The only picture I have for this week is with another Elder King here at the CCM. He left the CCM yesterday so we took a picture together. He is much shorter than me and very funny and nice. I miss you all so much. My challenge for you all is to do something nice for somebody else. The greatest love can be found through service to others. 

Con Mucho Amor, 

Elder King

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Week 1

¡Familia y amigos!

It is crazy to be writing to you all from Mexico City. It's beautiful here, and the weather here is amazing. It's the monsoon season so it rains nearly every day, which I personally enjoy because it keeps the temperature cool at night while we sleep. 

When I first landed in Mexico City and got off of the plane I was stranded on the tarmac waiting for a shuttle to take me to immigration and customs. I was all by myself and just spent some time talking to the locals as best as I could. Once I got to immigration I waited forever and a day in line to get my visa. Because I was stranded on the tarmac I was late getting to the MTC and was one of the last missionaries getting in. I loved sitting in the van driving through Mexico City because everyone here drives like a maniac and it's hilarious. There are people just out in the middle of the street walking around trying to sell weird stuff while cars are literally driving over trees and other cars to get where they are going. There is so much traffic in the night that there is always honking to be heard (along with fireworks and gunshots). I really like it here in Mexico, despite my slab of marble for a bed and sauna of a room. There is no ventilation or fans or anything so my room just keeps our window open at night to try and keep it as cool as possible. 

My companion is pretty cool, he's from St. George and his name is Elder Nelson. I live with three other Elders. Elder Wunderlich, Elder Favila, and Elder Nelson. We're all serving in the Yakima mission which is pretty cool, so we'll hopefully see each other out in the mission field. 

The classes are crazy, we learn so much spanish it's insane in the membrane. My teacher is named Hermana Escobar and she is extremely short but incredibly kind. She teaches us so much, we speak so much spanish everyday. I looked back on my goals that I set for myself in regards to learning the language a week ago and have already accomplished nearly all of them in the first week. My favorite thing to do is talk with the locals because they love talking to gringos like myself, especially when I can keep up with them. 

I was called to serve as District Leader over my district the first day that I spent here in the CCM (we call it the CCM by the way, not the MTC). I was pretty surprised not only to be called to serve as District Leader but to be called so quickly. I really love and enjoy working with my district, we have 8 Elders and 2 Hermanas. 2 Elders and 1 Hermana are serving in Kennewick Washington, 2 Elders and a Hermana are serving in Salt Lake City, and the remaining 4 of us are serving in Yakima. My heart has grown so much in regards to both loving the people here in Mexico but also the members of my district. I love having the opportunity to share my limited wisdom I have, since I'm a little older than them and have been to college. I like referring to myself as the Grandpa of the district, since most of them are 18 or 19 and I'm 20. 

The food here is....unique. It's really a hit or a miss depending on the day. The one benefit of the week is that each Tuesdaywe get pizza from Costco, and I don't think I've tasted pizza so delicious in my life. The food really isn't that bad, but some dishes have made Elders vomit instantly, which is pretty funny to watch, not so much fun to smell afterwards. It's really weird eating breakfast here because they serve salad and tamales as opposed to your typical american breakfast. I drink a ton of water to stay hydrated and so the other Elders like to tease me and call me a fish out of water. 

The schedule is pretty repetitive, but I'm growing to like waking up at 6:30 everyday. The days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. We have gym time everyday and I normally play volleyball or basketball. I like playing the natives in soccer and having them play me in basketball after. They absolutely destroy me in soccer but playing them in basketball is hilarious because they are all so short. 

I'll hopefully get better at writing these emails each week, my P-Day is on Thursday so expect a basic update from me every Thursday while I'm still here down in Mexico. I don't have a camera so I'm relying on getting photos from other Elders and Hermanas, but I'll definitely get one once I'm up in Yakima. I figure I might close this update with a spiritual thought that I taught my district. I like relating my life and experience to movies and books and television and stories, so I tell my district to pray like Enos, work like Nephi, and love like Christ. In striving to liken ourselves to those three pretty spiritual dudes (and yes, I just referred to Enos, Nephi and Christ as some pretty spiritual dudes) we will receive incredible blessings. There's a quote by my home boy Abraham Lincoln that I love, "When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion." It's really as simple as that! I love each and every one of you, and miss you all incredibly. But it's the love I have for all of you that pushes me to work harder so that I can share what makes me most happy with others. 

Con Mucho Amor, 

Elder King

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Mom here--
I figured out what missionary is: 

If you want to send William a hard copy letter while he's in the MTC, you can do so directly through this website for free.  No waiting for USPS to deliver to Mexico City.  He can print the letters and read/re-read them any time, where email is only available once a week for a short period of time.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Made it to the MTC

Dear Mom and Dad, 

I have arrived safely to the MTC here in Mexico City. I had to wait in customs for nearly an eternity. I have a nametag and everything now, which is really weird but cool. I liked driving through Mexico City and seeing all the people and the aggressive drivers. My P-Day is on Thursday so you should hear from me next Thursday. Also I am typing on a spanish keyboard right now which is weird. Below is a message I had to copy and paste and send to you with my mailing address and stuff. Also the Elder who is walking me through this said to inform you guys about or something, not quite sure what it is. Hopefully my future emails won't be as scattered as this one. Love you guys a lot!

Elder King
[October 19] [4 - A]
Carretera Tenayuca-Chalmita #828
Colonia Zona Escolar, Gustavo A. Madero
07230 Mexico, Distrito Federal

The estimated departure date for your missionary is [October 19]. The use of the
above address on all correspondence will greatly faciliate delivery to your missionary
at the MTC. Please don't send packages.

Con Mucho Amor, 

Elder King