Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Praying for Cow Licks

Friends and Family, 

I don't have a bunch of time today because a lot of stuff has come up so I just want to share a quick story that happened this past week. There is this family that got baptized on Sunday and their wedding was the Saturday night before. All of the missionaries in the Englewood Branch were helping out with setting up and I even got to be the wedding photographer which was pretty cool, mark that off of my bucket list. It was so much fun and so cool to hear the Branch President marry them and then talk about how one year from now they can be sealed for time and all eternity. 

While we were cleaning up after the wedding, the field next door had these two cows that came up close to the fence. I took some of the kids over and showed them the cows and used my special animal powers to get the cows even closer so that the kids could pet them and whatnot. The cow kept licking our hands and it felt so weird and cool and I thought to myself, "I wonder what this would feel like if it licked me on the face? I've always heard of the term 'cow lick' when it comes to hair, and it would be so cool to have a legitimate cow lick." 

Let me just make a quick note, that I love farm animals. I think they are so cool and fun and just the best. With that being said, I decided I wanted to try and get the cow to lick my face. Crazy and weird and gross, I know. But I thought it would be so cool. I leaned over and did everything I could to try and get the cow to lick my face. I called them over, whistled at them, I even put grass up against my face to try and trick the cows by offering them food. None of it worked. I spent a good 5-10 minutes trying to get it to happen, but to no avail. All of the kids had left and my companion was off behind me talking to some other missionaries and I was left there alone with these two cows. The crazy idea popped into my mind. Pray about it. 

I immediately disregarded the idea. Why would I pray about something so silly as that? Why would Heavenly Father care? As all the doubts started flowing through my mind, I started thinking about it in a different way. God is my Heavenly Father. I thought about if I had asked my Dad to help me to get a cow to lick my face, and realized that he definitely would lend a hand. Not only because he has a lot of the same quirks that I do, but because I'm his son and he loves me. The same applies to Heavenly Father. I began to realize that as silly as a cow licking my face was, it meant something to me. Which means it meant something to Him. 

I started to pray. "Dear Heavenly Father, I know this is probably the silliest request you've ever heard, but it would really mean a lot to me if you could tell these cows to give me a nice ol' lick on the face. I just thought since you're my Father, I might as well ask." As I began to close in the name of Jesus Christ, I began to imagine Christ carrying my prayer up to Heavenly Father, looking through the prayer papers (or however it works) and reading my request with a face of "...what in the world?" I said Amen, and just a moment later one of the cows stepped forward and with his slimy long tongue he licked me right up the side of my face. 

I don't know or understand how prayer really works. I don't know how God decides to answer prayers. I don't fully understand how He answers them either. One thing I do know, is that He is our Father. He wants to hear our pleas, just as any father would want to hear the plea of their child. From the small things like a cow licking a face, to the big things like college, work, family, he cares about it all. You can bank on that. 

Con Mucho Amor, 

Elder King  

Thursday, September 1, 2016

3 Voices

Friends and Family, 

Over the course of my mission thus far something that I've somewhat struggled with and really focused on has been recognizing the voice of the Spirit. In Moses Lake I learned something that helped me out a ton with trying to be in tune with the Holy Ghost. There are 3 voices in our minds. The voice of the adversary, our own voice, and the voice of the Holy Ghost. Every thought the adversary puts into our minds ends with an exclamation mark. Our own thoughts seem to always end with a question mark. The voice of the Spirit, however, always speaks and ends with a period. 

The other night as Elder Wilson and I were out in the streets of Yakima, trying by potential and former investigators, we went to a specific former and knocked on the door but nobody was home. As we were walking away, Elder Wilson looked at me and asked, "Well should we move on to a different area or try and do something around here?" I took a moment to think about what would be best, when I recognized a period. "Walk up the street." I told Elder Wilson we should at least walk up the street a little bit and try and find another house to knock. As we walked up the street a particular house stood out to me for some odd reason. Another sentence ending with a period come across my mind. "Knock the house." Almost immediately after that thought, another stream of thoughts came flooding in. "Do I have to? Does it need to be this house? Why can't it be another house? The sprinklers are on, we'll get wet! There are tons of other houses, we can just knock one of those!"

I told Elder Wilson that I really thought we should knock this one house. We started walking up to the door, through the sprinklers, when we heard voices from around back. We walked around and found a these two ladies talking with a young girl. We introduced ourselves and they kindly introduced themselves and we began talking with them. It was a grandmother with her daughter and granddaughter, just sitting out back enjoying the nice weather and spending some time together. We talked some more and got on to the topic of missionary work and what we do as missionaries. They asked us to please sit down and share the message we kept talking about because they wanted to know why it was so important. We sat down and began teaching them The Restoration. It reached a point where I was teaching and testifying of Joseph Smith, and tears started to build in the young mother's eyes. We gave them a copy of the Book of Mormon and invited them to read and pray about it, and they assured us that they would and asked if we could come back again. I don't know what the future has in store for that family, but I do know that the Lord needed us to be there at that time for them. 

Other highlights from the week include a trip in the back of U-Haul with half of the Englewood Branch, playing Skip-Bo and dancing with old ladies at a senior center, and a carne asada party. There are tons of fun and crazy things happening here in Yakima! 

Con Mucho Amor, 

Elder King