Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Friends and Family, 

Okay. I am actually really excited to write this week's email because so much has happened this past week and one of the coolest experiences ever took place last Tuesday and I'm eager to tell you all about it. I'll save that story for last, because just like my food I like to save the best for last. Maybe I'm the only one that does that, but I love to save the best tasting thing for last.

Last Monday for P-Day we went hiking out in Naches. The drive was really pretty, it reminded me a lot of Leavenworth. Once we got to the site where we planned to hike, we started on the trail. Our plan was to hike the trail and make it to some caves where we would go spelunking. We faithfully followed the Naches Elders along the trail, until we reached a dead end. Elder Moser and I decided we would be the Lewis and Clark of the group and with the mindset of manifest destiny, we trekked onward through the unpaved wilderness. We climbed rocks, leapt over trees, and scraped many knees. After a while of exploring, we determined that the trail actually ended back where the rest of the group was. We made our way back and delivered the bad news, and everyone began to make our way back to where we had parked our cars. As we made it back to the parking lot, one of the Elders went and used the restroom. While his companion was waiting outside for him, he noticed another trail that went off from behind the bathroom. Once his companion joined him again, the took a quick detour while everyone was preparing to head back to town. After a couple minutes along the hidden trail, they discovered that it was the trail we wanted to hike the entire time. Such is life. The path that takes us where we want to go can often be hidden behind smelly nature bathrooms. There's a lesson in there somewhere.

We have this one investigator named David who looks like Tarzan mixed with Jesus and his entire house is a garden and he only eats bananas, peanuts, oranges, and milk. He is the most interesting man in the world. When we first knocked on his door, his response was "You'll never convince me." He came to church two weeks ago, and actually really enjoyed it. He LOVES gardening and has taught Elder Moser and I so much about growing fruits and vegetables. He runs a non-profit organization where he creates community gardens for people in poverty, and we did service with him where we went out and worked with him on his garden. I seriously felt like Adam in the Garden of Eden being instructed by Jesus. It was a blast. He also taught us some cool gymnastic tricks on a set of bars that were for some reason placed near where the community garden was growing. Catch me on the US Men's Gymnastics Team and on the Garden Channel in a couple years.

Matt and his family are progressing really well. We've got him started on family history, and he's already caught the bug. He has his four generations on his Dad's side filled out, and he just started Thursday! It's spreading to his distant family as well as he asks them for information about his ancestors.

Alright, I'm sure most of you probably have just skipped to the end to read this story I've been hyping up. For those of you that have made your way through reading, congrats.

I was privileged to return back to my first area in The Dalles, OR for exchanges this past week. It's always fun to return to the areas where I have previously served, there is always some miracle that happens in my time back. My old ward mission leader had signed up to feed the Elders that night for dinner, so I was pretty excited to get to see him again and catch up with how the work has been going. He called us before dinner and told us to meet him at the hospital and that we'd be eating at the hospital cafeteria. We all chuckled a little at the interesting of idea of eating in a hospital. We showed up and met up with Brother Stewart and ordered our food. Brother Stewart was telling us about everyone in the cafeteria that he knew, and we said hello to everyone we could while we waited for our food to finish cooking. Once it was all brought out, we sat down at a table and I chose the seat that faced the door that opened to the kitchen. Throughout the meal, I kept seeing this woman through the little window on the door. She was working in the kitchen, and whenever she walked by she would stop and look at me and smile. I would smile back, and then she would move on. This happened repeatedly throughout the dinner. Once we finished eating, we said goodbye to everyone there and made our way out to the parking lot.

As we were standing outside the front entrance to hospital saying goodbye to Brother Stewart, I saw that girl from the kitchen come running out towards the entrance. She bolted through the doors and slightly out of breath looked at me and said, "Hi, can you teach me the steps to be baptized?" Without hesitation, I said yes. We were all in awe.

We talked with her for a moment, she told us that her name was Taylor we got her address and phone number. She explained that she has a friend in the tri-cities who she has been talking with a lot about the church and that she's been reading the Book of Mormon and really wants to be baptized. She had been praying the day before for an opportunity to see the missionaries and talk with them, and when we walked in and she saw us through the window, she knew her prayer was answered. Since then, she has set a goal to be baptized in June, came to church with two of her friends, and continues to read in the Book of Mormon.

People are prepared. They, like Taylor, are just waiting for the opportunity to accept the gospel in their life. To all you missionaries currently serving, missionaries that have returned home, missionaries preparing to leave, and member missionaries, don't be discouraged. There are Taylors all around us. As long as we're prepared for the people, the people who are prepared will be lead to us. Many have had a big impact on Taylor's life that brought her to that point. Each of you can do the same for someone else.

Con Mucho Amor, 
Elder King

Monday, May 22, 2017

Mid-Church Snacks

Friends and Family, 

This week was such a fun one, we were able to go on exchanges up in Wenatchee and Omak. I LOVE going up to the northern part of our mission. It is so pretty up there, and the people are so unique.

While on exchanges with Elder Miles in Omak, we had a pretty cool experience.It was towards the end of the night, and we had just finished teaching their investigator Dmitri. We both felt the need that we needed to go tracting, but were unsure as to where we should go. Elder Miles just started driving and he noticed a trailer park that he has never been to, so we pulled over, said a prayer, and started to knock. The very first door we knocked, a man by the name of Tony answered. He told us that his father was baptized into the LDS church and moved to Wenatchee, and he always felt bad that he didn't support his father in his decision to follow the Savior. Tony opened up and explained that he has been going through a very rough patch in his life, and that he has been walking up and down the street praying to come closer to God. When he saw us walking up towards his door, he was so excited and anxious that we were going to knock on his door. He asked us for help, feeling distant from Christ and bad for the thoughts that he has and for mistakes he has made in the past. We promised him that with the help of the Savior, he can start again. We gave him a blessing, and left him with a pamphlet to read. His whole disposition had changed from one of fear and frustration to joy and jubilee. Helping people change, even in such short time periods, is one of the greatest blessings of serving a mission.

We've seen more progress with Matt and his family this week. The whole family hasn't stayed for the full three hours yet, because the older son Calvin doesn't want to. We brought over a young man and the young men's president to meet him and commited him to stay for all three hours so the family could stay. He mentioned that his biggest concern was how hungry he would get, so the young man we brought with us brought granola bars to church so he could have a mid-church snack! It's incredible to see the action spreading throughout the ward as the members start to do things with our investigators as well.

Con Mucho Amor, 
Elder King

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Stake Conference success

Friends and Family, 

This past weekend was Stake Conference and Evelyn brought her Mom and sister! Jessica, Evelyn's mom, has been hesitant to allow Evelyn to be baptized for a while now. She really likes the church, and LOVES having us teach her kids, but just isn't sure about Evelyn being baptized. I have been praying very hard for their family, and to see them all sitting together in the chapel was incredible. Jessica loved everything that was talked about. She was very amazed at how many loud babies there are! She told us that she plans on coming again next week, with her newborn baby Brooke so that way she can show off Brooke.

Matt and his family are still progressing insanely well. We gave Sarah a Children's Book of Mormon reader so that way she can read to Curtis each night before going to bed. She loves it. She gets to spend time with her son, and she understands more of the Book of Mormon. Matt told us the other day that he is convinced that it is only because of his ancestors that missionaries found him and that he has made so much progression in the gospel. He's been looking into family history, and discovered that some of his ancestors were members of the church! He told us that the timing of everything in his life has been too perfect, and that he firmly believes that it is because of his ancestors on the other side of the veil that we came back and started working with his family again. We've been praying to find people who have ancestors rooting for them to accept the gospel, and it was really cool to see one answer to those prayers!

We've got zone conferences coming up, and more exchanges. We had a couple exchanges this week with some exciting adventures that were truly indescribable. I'm so grateful for all of the friends that have been put in my life through the WYM. 

Con Mucho Amor, 

Elder King

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

"Are You from God?"

Friends and Family, 

Phew! Transfer week is over. Things have started to settle down, only to start to pick back up again. We've got zone conferences and exchanges galore, it's going to be fun. I'm very happy with the weather we're having. I wish I could live in weather like this forever. Elder Moser and I have been running every morning as the sun rises over the mountains and the fresh morning air is great.

A while ago while Elder Moser and I were filling up gas before heading home for the night, a gentleman in a small red car pulled up next to us and asked, "Hey! Are you from God?" We looked at one another and then back at him and replied, "Yes. Yes we are." He asked if he could talk for a minute, and so he parked his car and we locked ours and walked over to where he was.

We initially thought he was going to mug us or something, considering the atmosphere of the neighborhood, but to our delightful surprise he started opening up about his desire to change his life for the better. He told us about how his life is kind of in a dead end spot going nowhere, and he feels empty inside. I put my hand on his shoulder and looked him in the eyes and told him he was talking to the right people. We began to explain how Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace and can fill the empty hole inside his heart. Just by listening to us quickly explain our purpose and how the Savior can help him, he already looked brighter. All because we were out and about, we found someone who needed to talk with us!

Looking back, I wonder how he knew we were from God? It was his first question. He saw something different about us. It caused him to approach us and ask us for help. When our lives are in harmony with the teachings of the Savior, it doesn't just bring us inner peace and joy. It radiates outward to others. Our example can have a powerful impact on others. I'm guessing we hardly even notice how our example effects those around us.

I finished reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish for the first time this week. I've begun reading it again, with a question in mind. What are the attributes of Christ, and how can I incorporate them into my character? I've already learned so much about becoming more Christlike. One insight I learned is that in 1 Nephi 2:7, it says "And it came to pass that he built an altar of stones, and made an offering unto the Lord, and gave thanks unto the Lord our God." Lehi had just left all that he owned, traveled in the hot and unpleasant wilderness, set up his tent, and the first thing he does is give thanks. Probably not the first thing I'd want to do. Gratitude is one of the most essential characteristics of the Savior. When we're grateful for what we have and what the Lord has promised us, our outlook on life completely changes.

"When you walk with gratitude, you do not walk with arrogance and conceit and egotism, you walk with a spirit of thanksgiving that is becoming to you and will bless your lives." -Gordon B. Hinkley

Con Mucho Amor, 

Elder King