Monday, August 7, 2017

No Regrets

Friends and Family, 

Well, this concludes the saga of Elder King. Hopefully you've all enjoyed reading about my experience here in the Washington Yakima Mission. It has been the happiest two years of my life up to this point. This last week has been a cherry on top.

One night, as we were out tracting in the later hours of the evening, we had one minute left before it was time to go in. I looked at Elder Walker and said, "Is it okay if we knock one more door?" He jumped on board with the idea, and we made our way up to the next door. As we walked up, we could both sense that the person would slam the door in our face. Although neither of us voiced these feelings to the other, we both knew what was to come. The door opened up and was closed in the blink of an eye. We walked back down the pathway with smiles upon our faces. "And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name." (Acts 5:41)

Heavenly Father has also been preparing me for missionary opportunities after the mission. We saw two guys sitting outside on the porch enjoying the nice evening, so we crossed the street to go talk to them. One of them had the state of Texas on his hat and TEXAS tattooed on his forearm. I smirked to myself, and approached him asking where in Texas he was from. Turns out he's from Dallas and is going back tomorrow! I was able to get his address and phone number and he said it would be great for me to come by with the missionaries in Texas sometime this next week!

At the end of the night last night, I was walking with Elder Walker feeling so content. Faith had entirely conquered my fear. I had no feelings of regret, or sadness, or anguish. No thoughts concerning whether or not I could have done more. Only feelings of peace and comfort. It was amazing. 

I feel like Lehi as he gives his last lecture before he passes. "Awake! and arise from the dust, and hear the words of a trembling parent, whose limbs ye must soon lay down in the cold and silent grave, from whence no traveler can return; a few more days and I go the way of all the earth." (2 Nephi 1:14) For those of you reading this, if you are thinking about getting involved with serving the Lord, this is the answer to your prayer. Do it. You will not regret it. As I've served Jesus Christ for the past two years, I have learned more than I've learned in my entire life. I've grown closer to God, and I know Him personally. Whatever your thoughts about being involved with missionary work are, do it. You will not regret it. 

Con Mucho Amor, 
Elder King

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


Friends and Family, 

Elder Walker has been such a great companion for me for these last couple of weeks. We have been working very hard, and we've seen the Lord bless us for our diligent and faithful efforts. We set a goal at the beginning of the week to exceed the standards of excellence. At the end of the night last night, we had five investigators on-date for baptism, with all five of those investigators attending all three hours of church, and six new investigators. The Lord took our efforts and doubled them. 

The dinner we right after zone conference ended up being with Sister McAllister, the primary president in the Mission Ridge ward. She served her mission in Russia, and I learned even more about working with the members during our discussion with her. I confessed to her that as a missionary, the main members of the ward council that I have sought to work with are the Relief Society president and Elders' Quorum president. I asked how we as missionaries could best help the Primary president, and she gave us two pieces of advice. 

1) Whenever you have investigators with children at church, always go and introduce the kids to a member of the Primary presidency and/or the teacher. This helps out so that these faithful sisters don't find themselves with some stranger's kid that they know nothing about! It also helps out by showing the Primary children how much we as missionaries respect their teachers and leaders. 

2) Be the best example to the children. Say hello to them, give them high-fives, ask them how they're doing. I'm very grateful that I was able to receive this counsel at the beginning of my mission from Sister Lewis. It's something that has had one of the biggest impacts on my mission. In the words of Sister McAllister, "If you made a child smile sometime throughout the day, you were a successful missionary." 

It was great to touch base with Brother Irving again at zone conference. He always provides such great counsel and encouragement. As we were catching up, he looked at me and said, "Elder King, you are the best missionary you've ever been right now. Don't let it go to waste." 

The Lord put an amazing new family in our path this past week. Elder Walker and I were planning on where to go tracting one evening, and I asked if he had ever tracted in the more western part of our area. He answered that he hadn't, mainly due to the fact that there aren't as many hispanics over there. I didn't even have to ask if we should still go tract there and find out before he said, "BUT, we won't know unless we go find out."

As we began knocking, we definitely understood the verse about the field being white, but in a different context. It seemed that every person was a content and happy Caucasian who didn't want anything to do with Mormon missionaries. We kept knocking until the street ended, and then needed to make our way up and over. When faced with the decision to go left or right, we felt the impression to go left. We made our way through an alley and saw a Hispanic family arriving home from somewhere. I could hear Elder Walker mutter, "Hispanics." and we quickly made our way over to talk to them. The man kindly invited us in, and we taught him and his daughter about prayer. Throughout the lesson, he kept asking his daughter, "Do you feel the same feeling I'm feeling?" We taught him about the Spirit and invited him to say the closing prayer and the feelings of the Spirit brought tears to his eyes as he spoke to his Father in Heaven. 

Coming into this are for my last three weeks, I had some bad expectations that I would see tons and tons of huge miracles and that I'd find a family of forty and reach the August mission goal all on my own. In the beginning of my time here, I was reminded very quickly that this work is not about me. This experience with Gilberto and his daughter Ana may sound like something small. A simple prayer with a small family. But it's those little lessons and mini miracles that make being a devoted disciple something certainly celestial. 

Elder King