Monday, March 27, 2017

RIP Winter


Woah, that looks way cooler than I thought it would. Those crazy scribbles you see there is japanese for "Friends and Family". Changing things up, a little spice of variety is always nice. 

While out tracting in the rain yesterday, we noticed some blossoms starting up on a tree. Spring is finally here, and good riddance to winter. I'm so excited for things to start heating up. As the weather heats up, so does the work. Elder Moser and I have so many people that we talk to each day and so many of them ask us to come back and teach. Our most progressing investigator, Evelyn, is still making leaps and bounds in the gospel. We had a lesson with her last night in a member's home where we taught about modern day prophets, in preparation for General Conference. She's been praying about baptism for quite some time now, and we committed her to pray with a specific question to be answered this weekend through General Conference. In the words of Elder Moreno from The District 2, "You can always put your money on the prophet."

We've been having a lot of exchanges this week, and Elder Moser and I both went back to Moses Lake for an exchange with the zone leaders up there. It was great, because the same day there was a baptism for an investigator in the YSA. His name is Varinder Singh, and he has such a cool story. He grew up in India and was married and in the early days of his marriage started looking into Christianity. His wife would get mad at him for praying, and they ended up separating and he moved her to the US. A friend of his who lives in Othello referred him to the YSA missionaries, and he was taught for quite some time and this Saturday he was baptized. His father is visiting from India and was able to attend the baptism! He knows very little English, but talking with him was very fun. He tries to teach us Punjabi, and he would look at us and point to his fingers and say in his thick accent, "Finger, finger, finger, finger, thumb. Punjabi? Ooglies." You learn something new everyday.

Varinder talked a lot about the peace that has come into his life since learning about the church, it's really cool to see somebody with such a diverse background have the same process of repentance and change as someone completely different.
At the April 2016 General Conference--one year ago--President Eyring said this as he opened the Saturday morning session: "Your choice to pray with full purpose of heart will transform your experience in the conference sessions and in the days and months that follow." Take advantage of this weekend, ask the Lord questions and plead with him for guidance. You'll hear exactly what you need to hear. 

Con Mucho Amor, 

Elder King

Monday, March 20, 2017

Hugs Not Drugs


I'm seriously running out of clever names to come up with for the subjects of these weekly emails. Who knows how many of you even really read the subject title? Who knows how many of you actually read the emails and not just look at the pictures? Who knows, who cares. I kind of like writing these little introductions with the mindset that nobody reads it, it's kind of like having a bunch of inside jokes with myself. 

*insert smooth transition* 

Busy is an understatement of what this past week has looked like. It was my second go around with transfer week, and a little more stressful than last time. Elder Taele has moved on to bigger and better things, and is now serving up in Moses Lake. My time with him was short lived, but loved. My new companion, Elder Moser, hails from the land of Blackfoot, ID. He's crazy talented with music, so I have him serenade me all the time. It's pretty cool.
We sent home ten of the best sister missionaries the WYM has seen on Monday. and when I say the best, I mean it. Do I say this knowing that I recently added a couple of them to this weekly email list? Maybe. But it doesn't make it any less true. It was fun but sad. I felt like a junior in high school watching all of his senior friends graduate. Luckily, we were blessed to receive three super solid new sister missionaries! One of them is from Texas, so you know it's a good batch.

As I've been thinking about what I should write about this week, Elder Moser and I have run into a lot of very interesting people with very interesting stories. We're teaching this less-active member named Shannon and his kind of girlfriend named Kelly about the gospel and helping them to overcome their addiction to smoking. Shannon has had a super rough past, and in one of our lessons he talked about how drugs completely ruined his life. Last night while we were out tracting, a drunk man came up to the door with us and hijacked our conversation and was cussing out this guy over the intercom. It was funny, but also kind of sad to see what alcohol did to this man. The reason I share this things is for a pretty simple yet critical take-away: don't do drugs. Pretty obvious to most. If happiness can only be found in the consumption of any substance, it's not real happiness.

Our investigator Evelyn is doing super well. She has been coming to church every week since I've been here, and she's praying about April 8th for baptism! I love teaching her, it's so fun. For being so young, she's so susceptible to the Spirit. She comes from such a broken home, and I've seen how much the gospel really can bless our families. The gospel is the glue that can take any shattered home and turn it into a palace.

Con Mucho Amor, 

Elder King

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Puking Lessons


Planning for transfers was extra interesting this past week. After exchanges with the Yakima Zone Leaders on Tuesday, I started to feel a little sick. I didn't think too much of it until Thursday after we started to leave President's home after some transfer planning that I really started to feel sick. We went off to our member dinner, and in the middle of dinner I excused myself and went to the bathroom to secretly puke in the middle of dinner. Made me think about all the missionaries who have been in my home, and how some of them may have secretly puked without anyone ever knowing!

Leaving dinner, things got even more interesting. As we were stopped at one of the busiest stoplights in all of Yakima, the pains of my stomach took over once again and I was fortunate to roll down the window just in time to blow chunks out of our car as we turned left through the intersection. Hundreds of people in Yakima that day got a sight of a missionary hanging halfway out of a truck, flying through an intersection, spewing munched up hawaiian haystacks. 

I was very very sick that night, it was one of the worst nights of my life. I couldn't drink anything, not even water or medicine would stay down for long. It was pretty rough. I hope you're all enjoying the graphic details and descriptions, by the way.

Sunday morning during Sacrament meeting, while singing 'How Firm a Foundation' the second verse stood out to me.

"Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand."

Due to my recent experience and sickness, this verse seemed even more real than ever. It's a pretty cool thing to know that we honestly never have any reason to fear or worry or 'be dismayed', whatever that means. We've got the most powerful being in the universe on our side, willing to give us aid! There isn't anything better than that. Whatever hard time or feeling of loneliness or struggle you may have, know that you've got God on your team, and he's the best teammate to have. 

Con Mucho Amor, 

Elder King 

Mom's note:  Here's a link to the Mission Blog.   And I apologize for the 2nd picture--eewwwwww!!!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Power of the Book of Mormon


It has been quite the week here in the Yakima 3rd Ward. It is incredible how many people we are blessed to work with. We have investigators of all sorts, coming from all sorts of backgrounds, and they're all looking for the same thing. The peace and happiness that comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ. One of our investigators, Evelyn, is only twelve years old but so susceptible to the Spirit and so mature. She LOVES coming to church and tells us that each week after church once she is home she runs to her room and closes the door and turns on music and dances around because she's so happy. She has told us that she's felt the Holy Ghost several times since she began to read the Book of Mormon and pray and come to church. Her family isn't currently interested right now, but their hearts are slowly softening as they see the change in Evelyn as she grows closer to the Savior. They're supportive of her decisions and interest in the church, and the Mom told us a couple days ago that she wants to bring the whole family to church one of these weeks! Yesterday, Evelyn brought one of her friends from school to church with her because it makes her so happy. In her prayer at the end of our lesson yesterday she asked God to help her family come with her to church one of these Sundays. It is amazing to see the Spirit touching her heart. 

With exchanges this past week I got to go back to my first area down in The Dalles! It was so much fun to be there again. I got to visit Paola, who was baptized while I was there and I also visited one of the coolest families ever, the Corey Family.
On Saturday we ate dinner with a family where the wife is a convert who was baptized while she was at college and writing a friend of hers who was on his mission. I asked her the question, "Sister Prescott, do you think you would have been baptized if you never read the Book of Mormon?" She started to think about it and began recalling her conversion process, and told me that she thinks she would have. She told me that while she was reading it she didn't totally understand everything that was happening but she knew it was a good thing. Yesterday during Fast & Testimony Meeting, she went up to the podium and told the story of the previous night at dinner when I had asked her that question. She looked at me in the audience and said, "Elder King, thank you for that question. I've changed my mind, I would not have been baptized if it weren't for the Book of Mormon." She said that she had been thinking about the question all night, and came to the conclusion that although she didn't fully understand what she was reading she could not deny what she was feeling. The soft whispers of the Spirit were quiet and powerful, and it wasn't until now that she is able to look back on them and recognize what the Book of Mormon did for her. It was cool to hear about her thoughts and experience, especially with all of the people we are working with to get them to read in the Book of Mormon! Whoever you are, whatever you may be doing, know that I know that the Book of Mormon is something that can truly bless anyone in their life. I've seen many people's lives changed all because of one simple book.

All in all, everything is going good. The sun is out, the sky is blue, things are great, and the church is true. 

Con Mucho Amor,

Elder King