Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Missionary Super Bowl

Friends and Family, 

So much has happened this past week I don't even know where to begin, but the beginning of the week is a good of a place as any to start. On Monday Elder Moser and I drove up to Omak to go on exchanges with the zone leaders up there. 4 hour drive through central Washington. It starts to get really pretty once we get into the northern part of the mission, more on that to come. While on exchanges with Elder Allsop, we went and taught the Harmon family. Amanda, the wife, is kind of a skeptic to God but has had some experiences in her life that has drawn her to learn more about Him and find her faith. Her husband, Jeff, is very spiritual. He loves the Book of Mormon and really enjoys the spiritual growth that he's seeing with his wife and kids. We taught Jeff and Amanda about faith, and read from Alma 32 with them. At the end, we really wanted Amanda to pray. We looked at her and I began to kneel down on the ground as we asked her to say the closing prayer. She looked at us very surprised, having never prayed before in her life. Her husband Jeff began to kneel down and she followed suit. She looked at us and said, "You know that I've never prayed before, right??!?" We looked her in the eyes and said, "Yes, we know. But we also know that the only way for you to find the answers to your questions is to ask God directly. We're here to help." We bowed our heads and waited in silence. Audible expressions of discomfort were heard as we waited for her to begin to pray. Her husband Jess reassured her that he was there to help as well. After what seemed like a long moment of silence, Amanda begin to pray. She offered up the questions of her soul, sincerely asking if Heavenly Father was there. It was incredible. Her whole disposition seemed to change after that prayer, she began to make comments and ask questions with an eye of faith rather than disbelief. All because of one simple prayer.

On the way back from Omak, Elder Moser took me on a tour through Coulee Dam. Some fun facts about Coulee Dam, it is the largest concrete structure in North America and third in the world! If you were to take all the concrete in the Coulee Dam, you could create a six lane highway from Seattle to Miami or a sidewalk that could go around the world twice. It was massive. The drive down through was beautiful as well. We stopped at this giant Sasquatch statue that has a cool backstory, a statue of this native american chief named Chief Joseph, and toured Dry Falls.  It all just made me love Central Washington more and more.

Here in Yakima, we are teaching SO many people. They are all amazing, I leave every lesson overwhelmed with love for each and every one of them. We've picked up a former investigator, Matt Palmer. His wife is a less-active member and his greatest desire is to be baptized. He's practically a professional pool player and is such a humble sincere guy. He told us that once we went back that he had been praying for us to come back and teach him again. In the past when he was being taught, he wasn't married to his girlfriend because she was pregnant and didn't want to get married while pregnant. She's had her baby, and is ready to get married now. Funny the concerns that people have. As we finished our second lesson with Matt, he offered the closing prayer saying, "Dear Heavenly Father, I want to thank you again for bringing the missionaries back into my life. I know I say that a lot, but I really mean it." It was very heartwarming to hear this man offer gratitude to the most powerful being in the universe for some two twenty year old snot nosed kids in his life.

Another family we're teaching is the Lopez family. Carolina grew up going to church but was never baptized because her Mom became less active once they moved. She showed up to church but attended the Englewood Branch and didn't understand it because it was in Spanish, so she asked someone where she could go in English and the sister missionaries referred her to us! She and her husband Hector are incredible. We say family prayers with them at the end of every lesson and their two year old son Milo comes and kneels even though he doesn't know what's happening. Their nine year old daughter, Aubrey, is a spiritual giant. We committed them to read the Restoration pamphlet for our lesson the next day at 4pm. At 3pm the next day, Aubrey asked her Mom, "Did you read the pamphlet the missionaries gave you?" Carolina sadly replied no. Aubrey then said, "Well keep cooking dinner Mom! I'll go grab it and read it to you." We are beyond excitement for what is happening with their family!

The second picture in this email comes from the humble home of Sister Ray. Sister Ray called us at the beginning of the transfer and her opening line was, "Hello, this is Sister Ray. I jumped out of a three story building and broke both of my legs and would like for you Elders to come teach me." She lives in some of the most humble living circumstances I've ever seen. She and her husband Bryan share an apartment and have a corner to themselves with blankets for their walls. I sat on their toilet stool to teach them, which was a first for me.

Despite the snow in the picture from our trip down from Coulee Dam, the weather is really beautiful. Lots of flowers ready to blossom. Serving here in Yakima is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have come to love the place greatly and the people even more. With General Conference this weekend, aka Missionary Super Bowl, I've learned a lot about Christlike love. It is truly the only thing that "faileth not".

Con Mucho Amor, 

Elder King

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