Thursday, January 28, 2016

Rockin' and Rollin in Rocky Reach

Aloha everyone, 

First off, I apologize for the lack of pictures for this week. I only took one, and it was to illustrate one of the many downsides that come from being a bit taller than most others. I'll try and do better this next week. 

I had my first opportunity to translate during church yesterday. The regular translator had a sick son that she needed to stay home and care for, and the other Spanish missionaries were unavailable, which left it up to me. Translating Spanish into English is easy, but English into Spanish is a whole other ball game. I was pretty nervous at first, but as I started I got the hang of things and learned as I went. The hardest part is trying to not miss a sentence. It's easy to get caught up on trying to translate one sentence that you'll forget to hear what the speaker says next and you'll end up with holes in your translation. As difficult as it was, it was pretty enjoyable. 

There are so many great things that come with working with the Hispanic people. The other day we were walking around in this apartment complex that is comprised mostly of Hispanics, when we say these people cooking outside their apartment, enjoying themselves and playing some music. I asked them what they were celebrating, to which they replied, "Nothing! We're just celebrating to celebrate!" They invited us to come join them and cooked us some tacos, which were some of the best tacos I've ever had, and spent some time getting to know them and sharing some of our message. They were so open and friendly. The happiness and joy that is involved with Hispanic culture is one of my favorite things about serving as a Spanish missionary. 

There is still a ton of snow, so my companion and I are getting a lot of experience with shoveling it. I'm hoping that spring comes sooner rather than later. I've decided that I've had my fix of snow. 

At one point during the week I realized how inspired it was that Elder West was assigned to me. While we were driving to an appointment, when he started talking to me about the fact that moon dust is actually deadly because of the way that it is eroded. At the end of explaining more about it, he looked at me and said, "Isn't that cool?" I grinned and replied, "Yeah, it is." It hit me then. Who else would think that something like that is cool? We laughed about it together. 

The quote I will leave you all with is this. "Everything you want is on the other side of fear." Don't be afraid to try new things! To push yourself! Remember, there is no comfort in the growth zone and there is no growth in the comfort zone. I love you all, never forget it!

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder King

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

From Trainee to Trainer


Emergency Transfers have struck again. Tuesday afternoon I received a call from President informing me that I would not only be leaving The Dalles, but that I would be doubled-in and training a new missionary in the Rocky Reach area in the Wenatchee zone. 

I was so overwhelmed when I heard that. Not only would I be training a brand new missionary, but I would be sent to a new area with him where I would know absolutely nothing about the area. It has been such a learning and growing experience these past couple of days. "There is no growth in the comfort zone, and there is no comfort in the growth zone." 

My trainee's name is Elder West, and he's actually from Allen, TX. What are the odds? It's crazy talking with him because I can bring up places from back home and he knows exactly where they are at. He's helping me learn a lot, and hopefully I'm helping him learn as well. 

With all the stress and craziness that I've experienced this one week, I've learned some very important lessons. First off, the importance of taking tasks one thing at a time. When Elder West and I first arrived in our new area, I had no idea what to do. I realized the only thing I could do was work one step at a time, and saw how much better things went when I broke everything down into smaller steps. 

The other thing I learned is how true the statement, "Too blessed to be stressed" really is. As I reflected upon all of the great experiences I've had thus far, I realized how much help I've already had out here on the mission. The hard times will always outnumber the good times, but the good times will greatly outweigh the hard ones. 

I attached my last picture with Paola before I left The Dalles. Saying goodbye to her was incredibly hard. The Dalles will always hold a very special place in my heart. I learned to love so many of the people there. I've also attached a picture of Elder West and I.

I love you all. 

Con Mucho Amor, 

Elder King

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Round 3 in The Dalles!


I'm really starting to like the ring to starting every email off like that. It's just so....tropical. 

The Dalles has definitely been it's own type of tropical this past week. On Tuesday we had so much snow I got to use a snow blower for the first time. It was pretty cool. It was like mowing the lawn, but with snow. That same day while walking around to find opportunities to serve others by shoveling some snow we had some pretty cool experiences talking to people on the street. We ran into this couple, Ron and Rhonda, who had been locked out of their car and were waiting for the locksmith to come and help them out. We started talking to them and out of no where he asked if we believed in the trinity. We answered no, and that we believe that God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are 3 separate beings. He looked very confused and puzzled and said, "Good! Me neither. It just doesn't make sense to me." We were able to have a really great conversation with him and gave him information so that he could talk more missionaries in the town where he lived. 

We also ran into a guy by the name of Hilario later that day outside of the library. He was a Hispanic man with a teardrop tattoo on his face and was incredibly sincere and nice. After talking to him he called us later that night just to let us know that he was so grateful for us talking to him because it made him feel so happy. 

On Saturday I gave my first training at a Zone Training Meeting! Crazy to think that 12 Weeks ago I was leaving Mexico City. We also got transfer calls on Saturday and Elder Brassanini and I will be staying here in The Dalles for the next transfer, however we will be getting a new companion with us... Elder Fernandez! He is from the Dominican Republic and speaks English, Spanish, and French. It's going to be very different being in a tri-pan, but I'm super stoked for everything I can learn from Elder Fernandez. 

The biggest thing that I've learned over this past week is the importance of asking others for help. I'm such a stubborn and independent person and am terrible at asking others for help, but so many times when I've asked someone else for their assistance everything was just so much easier. It is truly a test of humility to ask others for help. 

I have attached a picture of myself with Ernesto and his family. Ernesto was one of the first families I got to meet when I came here to The Dalles, and I have grown to love and care for his family so much. The other picture is an action shot of yours truly using a snow blower. 

Les amo mucho. Have a great week everyone!

Con Mucho Amor, 

Elder King