Wednesday, July 26, 2017

God Chose You

Friends and Family, 

Most of the time I start off these emails by mentioning how fast time has flown since last Monday, but this time is the exact opposite. SO much has happened, and it feels like it has been a month since I last wrote home to update you on the fun adventures of Elder King. Being back in Wenatchee is really weird, I've officially served with four of the units in the Wenatchee Stake now. It's nice to have some great scenery and to be able to reconnect with some old members I knew and investigators I taught. 

The other day as Elder Walker and I were out walking around and talking to people, I was feeling really out of place. I was having a hard time working with the people here and really coming to love them. Partially due to the unfortunately quick expiration date that approaches me in this area. As we were walking and talking, we turned the corner and I saw some street art on the side of a small store. It read, "God could have chosen anyone to be here, but he chose you." It was exactly what I needed to read, a literal sign from Heavenly Father. Since that moment, I have learned so much about why God needs me, or all people, to be here for this amount of time. Wherever you are as you read this, whatever you may be doing or whatever may be on your mind, know that God has you there for a reason. 

Elder Walker and I have some really cool people we're working with here. This family we're teaching, the Reynosa family, all came to church yesterday. The son, Bryan, is even going to scout camp this week! Anyone crazy enough to go to scout camp with a bunch of Mormons must be somewhat converted to the gospel. 

One of our investigators, Primitivo, is really funny to teach. He LOVES missionaries and loves church. Elder Walker and I planned a lesson for him where we were going to teach the plan of salvation and emphasize the word of wisdom and the importance of baptism and invite him to be baptized. The lesson was going GREAT. He loved everything we taught him, and really desired to live the word of wisdom to receive the promised blessings. We talked about baptism and invited him to pray for a baptismal date and he said, "Hmmm... I really think that August 15th would be a great day to be baptized." Elder Walker and I got all excited and started asking him about why he felt that day was so special, hoping to hear him talk about the feelings of the Spirit. He looked at us and with a big smile replied, "That's the day to celebrate the virgin Guadalupe!"

....Ay caramba.... 

We're still working on the whole conversion thing with him, but he'll get there.

We went hiking today in Leavenworth, which was super fun. It's really pretty here, and I'm learning a lot. 

Con Mucho Amor, 
Elder King 

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Will of God

Friends and Family, 

In the words of President Lewis, "'s been an interesting transfer week."

Much has happened since last Monday, and I am officially going to be serving my final weeks of the mission field with Elder Walker back up in Wenatchee. I'll be on the other side of the river, so it'll be a new environment. I am VERY excited. As sad as it is to leave Yakima, I know that the Lord has a purpose for me there. 

The whole week of transfer planning, I was unsure as to where I was going to be going. Friday afternoon President told me he was going to stew and ponder on where I needed to be. Saturday morning, as I knelt down to pray, I opened up to my Father in Heaven and explained to him my desires and thoughts. I told him that I would really love to enjoy to continue to serve in Yakima, that I felt that I had great things going with the members and with the our investigators and with Evelyn and her family. I prayed with faith, fully believing that Heavenly Father would keep me here in Yakima. As I was approaching the end of my prayer, I head what many commonly refer to as a still small voice. However, this voice was my own voice. It sounded as if I was talking to myself, something I haven't really experienced before. 

I recognized that it couldn't have been my own thought, and in that moment the words sunk deep into my heart.

"You have forgotten something." 

I had yet to close my prayer, and pondered in silence for what it may have been that I had forgotten to pray for. I prayed for the welfare of my investigators, the growth of the church in this area, and for everyone else in my life. What could I be missing?? 

A quick moment later, it dawned upon me what I had forgotten in my prayer. I continued, "Father. As much as I would love to stay here in Yakima, my life is yours. It does not belong to me. I give it to you and put it in your hands, and I know that your will is what will make me the best I can be." 

As I got up off of my knees, President Lewis called. He informed me of the decision he had made to put me in Wenatchee. 

Aligning our will with God is what Jesus Christ has taught us to do. I testify, speaking from many experiences in my short time I've had here on Earth, that the moment we give our will to God and seek His, the moment we become free.

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)
Adelante, con fe, 
Elder King

P.S. Today is a VERY crazy day. Lots to do to prepare for transfers. Unfortunately, this means no pictures this week. *cue audience awwwwwwww* Stay posted for pictures of some goodbyes next week.

Note from editor mom:
Since Elder King didn't have time to send photos, I'll add a few from his final transfer planning session as Assistant to President Lewis.  We are looking forward to his final 3 week adventure in Wenatchee.  Check the cherries in the grocery store--they could be from Wenatchee!!

Monday, July 10, 2017

...perhaps until the day I die.

Friends and Family, 

All is well on the Yakima 3rd South front. Elder Moser and I are having a blast as we continue to watch over our area with love and care. On Saturday, we decided to use bikes all day. We biked all the way from our apartment down into the streets of our area and saw so much success. Not only did an enormous amount of people see us as we peddled down Nob Hill, but we were able to personally meet a great amount of people as well. We had an experience that really illustrated how useful the Spirit is when it comes to finding new people to teach. 

We had just finished knocking on the door of one of our investigators. Her brother had answered and said that she had a late night last night and that she was asleep and asked if we could come by later. As we walked back to our bikes, preparing to make our way to our back-up plan, I felt the impression that we needed to ride up Yakima Ave instead of Nob Hill. I told Elder Moser we should change up our route and head north instead of south. He agreed, and minutes later as we approached Yakima Ave a man stepped out into the street and said, "Elders! Are you on your way to an appointment?" We told him that we were on our way to hopefully make an appointment, and he asked us, "Do you want to meet a member of 3rd Ward who probably doesn't have his records here?" We nodded and he explained he was a member of 2nd Ward. We quickly jumped off of our bikes and followed him into this apartment complex where he introduced us to a man named Charles. We talked with Charles for a little bit and he expressed his desire to "return back to the path". We showed him a picture of the vision of the tree of life and explained the importance of the iron rod to help him do so. We read with him in the Book of Mormon and he was so happy to be feeling the Spirit again. He then told us the story of his family, and mentioned his brother who was never baptized when they were younger due to a fear of water. He told us he would get us his address so we could go by, because he really wants his brother and his brother's family to be baptized! That was just one of the many great things that have happened in our area this past week. 

Evelyn is continuing to progress really well. She and her mom came to church, and her mom is taking more and more of an interest. She's starting to read the Book of Mormon with Evelyn, which is great because it helps both of them. Jessica (Evelyn's Mom) doesn't understand a lot of it, so Evelyn gets to explain it. When she doesn't know what something means, she asks us about it in our next lesson! 

We had a really great lesson with Laurette. We took the Lamphier's over and worked with her more on family history and answered questions about the church. She knows a pretty good amount about the history of the church. Brother and Sister Lamphier did a great job with clarifying some of the not-so-true things that she's heard. We focused really hard on getting her to church, and her main concern is that her family were ministers in a different faith and she would feel like she's going against them if she came to our church. She loves every member we bring over and talks about how much she knows she would like it, it's just helping her get outside of her comfort zone. We've been praying and pondering over what doctrines Laurette needs to understand to help her to make the commitment to come to church. She's been praying about it, and we've got some great ideas were planning to do to help her keep progressing.

There are a TON of really great things that are happening in our area. I love every street corner, stop sign, and person in it. Just the other day Elder Moser and I came back for lunch and ate as quickly as possible so that we could get back out into our area. We're making really great progress with a lot of the people we're currently working with, and seem to always be finding someone new to teach. My feelings about these people can only be summed up in the words of Ammon. 

"Yea, I desire to dwell among this people for a time; yea, and perhaps until the day I die."

Con Mucho Amor, 
Elder King

Monday, July 3, 2017

First Fruit of Repentance

Friends and Family, 

First off, happy (almost) Fourth of July! My favorite holiday of the year. I could ramble on and on about why Fourth of July is the best holiday, but I'll save my ramble for another day. Hobbies: rambling.

Hands down, no questions asked, not a doubt in my mind, the highlight of this past week and maybe even past year was Evelyn's baptism. I have been teaching Evelyn since October of last year. It has been a LONG journey, but so eventful. She and her family have changed so much. When I asked her about her favorite thing about meeting with us for so long, she said "I love seeing how much I've changed, and how much my family has changed and blessed because of my change." Summed up, that's the gospel in a nutshell. Complete change and happiness. 

We've been busy with zone conferences and exchanges as well. Our main focus this past zone conference was effective finding. We've set a goal as a mission to baptize fifty people in one month, and we all know that the only way to achieve that goal is to find an enormous amount of people. 

Something funny while up in the country town of Ephrata is that we walked into the home of this less-active member and I said hello and he immediately asked if I was from Texas. I was pretty surprised he was able to pick it out so quickly, so I asked him how he knew. He told me, "You sound just like how my Mom talks, and she's from Texas." Turns out I now have a Texas accent! Spending all this time around country farmers has given me more of a country flavor than my whole life in Texas has!

I am absolutely loving in here. It's such a weird thing, I really don't know how to describe it. All of the fun little towns and all of the hard country folk, it's something else. 

After Evelyn's baptism, I started reflecting on everything I've learned thus far on my mission. I was just beyond happy when she was baptized, and so I started thinking about how happy the gospel can make us and what I've learned from it. In short, I've learned
1. God does listen to and answer our prayers
2. The biggest blessing of the priesthood is the opportunity to serve others
3. You can completely and entirely change yourself because of Jesus Christ

Again, I could ramble more on these things. Instead, know that I know that this is without a doubt the Lord's kingdom here on the Earth. While in the service of the Master, I have come to know Him. He lives, and He loves us. 

Con Mucho Amor, 
Elder King