Sunday, May 29, 2016

Letter Home - Week 43

Hey family!

I feel like I just emailed since the last time was just on Wednesday evening but that's a good thing :) Monday we flew into Barbados and stayed the night in the Blue Horizon Hotel that we stayed in when I first came into the mission. It was then that I was also with Elder Kuru as short term companions so it was flash from the past. It was great. In the morning we went on the same run we did the first time on the beach and then had their continental breakfast. It was nice. The MLC was stellar. It was great also to see many of the missionaries I've served around like Elder Moli, Elder Odhiambo, Sister Conrad, Sister Maico, Elder Taylor, Elder Alldredge and the other mission leaders. It was just awesome. Wednesday morning we flew back and then immediately had Zone Conference. It was good. Elder Kuru and I had to help conduct and lead a discussion/council. That's when I got to email while waiting for all the interviews to finish. I had my interview on Saturday before when President was here for Branch Conference. We didn't get to do any proselyting during those three days. With the rest of the days we were able to teach a good number of lessons. We continue to teach Kevin and he is doing good. We saw Stephanie and we were able to get her the book of mormon on CD since she can't read. She has begun listening to it. She didn't come to church because of the rain. We went to go bring her to church but because of the rain it got all of her clothes wet that were hanging out to dry. It rained like all day Saturday and the morning of Church. Hopefully next week. We taught Calvin the restoration by himself and he said after that he didn't have any doubts. We later taught Janelle and Calvin together (boyfriend/girlfriend and yes they live together) about the Law of Chastity. They understood what it meant and the choice they will have to make. We gave them a few good talks to read along with Alma 32 about faith. One of the talks clearly goes over what the Law of Chastity consists of and another about our choices in life. We found another good one after called Making the Marriage Decision. We also had a good lesson with Joan about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We talked about having faith and that after the trial of her faith that she will receive her answer to be baptized into the church. She wants to come to church and she says she will sometime soon. We gave her a pathway to baptism that showed the steps that lead to it to help overcoming the fear of the unknown. It was a good lesson. She committed to following the steps that lead to baptism. She hasn't committed as yet to baptism but it's something that she wants. Kevin says hi :) I love you all so much! I'll send some good photos next week! Have a great week!
Elder King

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Letter Home - Week 42

Hey family!

It's been a great week. The Lord's work is something that changes lives and help you become more like Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It's changing mine. It's blessing mine as well as I see the Lord's work changing the lives of others, especially those I love. This week I had some real spiritual edification with a Branch Conference on Sunday where President Herrington came, Mission Leadership Council in Barbados with the AP's and all the other Zone and Sister Training leaders, and Zone Conference with the Herringtons. I've spent some good time around our Mission President this week and it's been a blessing. I don't get a lot of time to spend around him because he is on a different island but it makes it something special when I do get some time around him and his wife. They are so great. There is a special spirit and you can feel the power of it. The focus in the mission now is to set goals, make plans, and use our time wisely. There has also been a real focus on working with the branch. Well we finally got the car back on Friday. It took a long time but we got it. It took really long to get a programmer but eventually we got one. It's nice to have that luxury back. It makes our work so much easier. Well we contacted into a less active member around our apartment late Monday night. His name is Kalev. We talked and then invited him to church. He came and stayed for the whole block. It was great. On Wednesday we had a special experience. We had a lesson with Janelle and Calvin who has a four year old son named Luke. We taught about the Plan of Salvation. They had great questions about baptism. We taught how families can be together forever and about how baptism is the gate to the Celestial Kingdom where families can be. They had been talking about baptism together which brought up questions. Janelle has been thinking a lot lately about baptism. But the cool thing was that Calvin near the end of the lesson asked if and how he could become a member. It was unexpected but awesome. He had said that he had never felt closer to God during the lesson. He was feeling the Spirit and it moved him to ask us if he could become a member. We invited him to be baptized and gave him a date to work towards. He accepted. We invited Janelle again but she hasn't accepted yet. She will just now :) We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Janelle in another lesson. She's been reading what we give her. We focused on repentance the lesson. It's the worldwide missionary focus and she has been feeling guilty lately for certain reasons and feels like she couldn't make it to the Celestial Kingdom as of now. She is willing to work towards it though. She wants it and is willing. It's giving her hope. They both came to church together with Luke on Sunday. It was such a great meeting and perfect for Janelle. It was such a spiritual meeting and I learned a lot. Janelle had to leave during the third hour and when she was leaving Calvin said he wanted to stay because of what he was feeling. He pointed to his chest and said he hasn't felt anything like it. It was hard for him to describe. They both enjoyed church and afterward they invited us to have lunch at their home. It was so good. They made us Roti! It consists of some chicken with some sauce and a handmade type of tortilla. It was a special treat. St. Lucia has dropped in numbers of missionaries and so some areas have been closed. We have taken over two other areas and so we've picked up some new people. One is named Indy. He also came to church. He has been taught for a while. He is from Taiwan. We had a good first lesson with him. We also talked about prayer with Indy just as Jay but not as what sounds like a stellar lesson. I wish I could've been there. I have a personal testimony in the power of prayer. Heavenly Father is there. He does listen. He loves us. I've learned also to visualize Heavenly Father when I'm saying my prayers and that I'm actually talking to him. Not just saying words. We are going to really start working with Indy to teach him as often as we can because he has a lot of faith and is such a great guy. He's been to church a lot. We are going to try to help him be baptized. On Sunday we were leaving church and just outside at a nearby building there were two guys talking. They were a little ways away. We waived and said afternoon as we were passing by but then I stopped, turned around, and went and talked to them. It turns out they were really in need. Both have had thoughts of suicide because of less than fortunate situations. We were there to help and placed there by the Lord. We talked with them and bore testimony. It was guided by the Spirit and was powerful. The spirit was really strong. It was a blessing to him and he was sincerely grateful. I was blessed by the special experience. We left saying wow that was cool. Lots of good stuff happening over here and it sounds like it over there as well! Keep being awesome!

With much love,
Elder King

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Letter and Pictures - Week 41

Hey family!

Mother's Day was so nice! It was so great to see all of you again. Even if it was short it was wonderful. I love you all. I want each of you to know that. Keep doing all the good you do and being the great people that you all are. With this week there were a lot of things that took away from our proselyting time but there were still some good things that happened. We were able to sit down with a member named Sister Tessa and her daughter Nelida who is 12 this week. We talked about baptism with Nelida and she accepted to work towards it when before she felt like she wasn't ready. It was great. She loves to read and she accepted to start reading the book of Mormon. She has already finished the book of Mormon stories book with the pictures. She enjoyed it. The little book will help her understand the book of Mormon better. We also started to teach a lady named Scera. She lives next to Michael. She is really cool. She is really interested in the message we share and believes in it. We taught the restoration with her and it was a nice lesson. We set a date for baptism with her. I hope she continues to progress. We had a great lesson with Joan about faith. She read Alma 32 and like I mentioned on Skype that she said that he little seed is beginning to grow. We taught Candice about the restoration as well. We've tried to teach her this lesson so many other times but things kept getting in the way so it was nice to be able to get through the whole lesson this time without all the interruptions and noise. This week at church I taught priesthood class about the importance of scripture study. Last week I taught Sunday School about Mosiah Ch. 1-3. Sometimes the lessons get thrown onto us as missionaries because the teachers aren't there or something. It's been a great week. I love you all and I keep you in my prayers. I hope each of your lives becomes lighter, brighter, and happier as you exercise your faith. Remember your future is as bright as your faith. I love you.

Elder King
Well with how long I've been driving it was bound to happen eventually... At least we are all okay. The car...not so much... I'm just kidding haha. But this week we spent some time dealing with the car. The key to the car got damaged and the immobilizer inside the key fell out and got lost so the car wouldn't start. We thought it was the battery but after trying to jump the car and that not working we knew it must be something else. So we left it overnight because it was late and then in the morning we had it towed. We got to sit in the car as it was being towed. That was fun. We took it to a place to have them look at it and they told us it was the problem with the key. This happened on Thursday. It's taking a long time for the problem to be solved but hopefully we will get the car back today. We got a new key with a new immobilizer but now we have to wait for them to program it. It makes me grateful for a car to get around because it's kind of a pain taking the buses with three Elders with all the places we have to go. There were blessings that came from it though. We were able to talk to more people because of it and who knows maybe one of them are prepared to hear the gospel.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Letter and Pictures - Week 40

Here's a sign Gordon still hasn't lost his sense of humor.  This was his original letter home.
Dear Family,

I love you.


Elder King
It was followed later by the real thing.  Such a tease!
Hey guys,

This week was really good. We were able to teach a lot and the teaching between Elder Kuru and I is great. The lessons are full of the spirit. I love it. We are doing our best to help our investigators to progress towards baptism. Today we had a great zone mtg. that Elder Kuru and I taught. We taught about using our time wisely to keep the spirit with us. It was a lot about becoming converted ourselves so we will have the spirit to convert the investigator if they open their heart to it. I enjoyed it. The spirit was strongly felt. I hope you all have a great week.

Elder King

Breakfast for lunch! We had pancakes and sausage and on the pancakes we had peanut butter and ice cream! It's really good by the way :)

This is Cleopha and her son Marvin. She is 19 which is surprising. She is doing well. We had a couple good lessons this week with her. One about the restoration and the other we watched a video about Joseph Smith and the restoration. She believes it is true which is the start of her testimony. We invited her to read and pray about the book of Mormon. It may seem like a simple invitation but it's oh so powerful when done. There is a real power behind daily scripture study and daily personal prayer. As one acts on these invitations that is when the spirit can testify to them of the truthfulness of it as they allow the spirit into their heart. It is from this submitting oneself that one gains a testimony on a principle of the gospel. It is through a humble prayer for help that one can soften their own heart and through love that another can help in the process of softening another's heart.

We were privileged to be invited to a member's home for Sunday lunch after church to break our fast. The couple are from Mexico and they just moved into the branch here because of work. They are so nice. The meal was great. This is their apartment. It's pretty nice :)

The meal was great. We had some really good fish and a special rice and salad. They also made a papaya juice drink which was good.

The view from their apartment is absolutely gorgeous too. It was a great experience. It was refreshing. We also had an oreo cheesecake for dessert. I liked that :)

Additional emails while online:

I am the one driving and we drive everywhere. I feel like a taxi driver haha

The weather is great. Doesn't rain much. Nice and sunny but not too hot. Elder Kuru has three siblings and has been a member his whole life. I hope and pray that Michelle will be okay. That's a scary thing to have occur. I'm glad that Kaylee is having a blast in school. I hope they do well at State. I'm glad to hear that Jay is reading his scriptures daily. That's great. It puts a smile on my face. I hope you all have a great week! I'll see you on Sunday!
With much love,
Elder King

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Letter and Pictures - Week 39

This week has been really good. Elder Kuru and I have been getting along great. We love serving together. He is a really hardworking missionary and he is helping me grow more. After hearing about transfers Elder Moli and I went and said goodbyes to our investigators. They miss Elder Moli. He is a good missionary. This Sunday was great. The meeting was really good and great talks were given. We had two investigators, Janelle and Shenelle, come to church and Kevin administered the sacrament for his first time. He did great. He received the priesthood last week. Well I'm out of time because I was busy sending photos but I hope you all enjoy them. I love you all! Take care and have a blessed week.
Elder King

This is the zone before all the transfers. There were 9 that left St. Lucia and 5 that came in. Two Sister companionships were moved to other islands. The Senior Couple is Elder and Sister Leavitt. They are from Canada. They are great as well. They are doing a lot of great work to help the branch.
Top row: Sister Leavitt, Elder Leavitt, Elder Merritt, Elder Nixon, Elder Sandbakken, Elder King, Elder Topou.
Middle row: Sister Benn, Elder Miller, Elder Powell, Elder Mikesell, Elder Alldredge, Sister Timaia, Sister Conrad, Sister Nelson.
Bottom row: Sister Maico, Elder Hardy, Elder Wallentine, Elder Ropati, Elder Moli, Sister Campbell, Elder Lameta.

Elder Alldredge, Sister Conrad, Sister Nelson, Sister Maico, Elder Hardy, Elder Wallentine Elder Moli, Sister Campbell and Elder Lameta left Castries.

Elder Kuru, Elder Dancan, Elder Arzu, Elder Jones, and Elder Cox replaced them.

This is Janelle and Luke. She is 27 and he is 4. We recently started to teach her and she is doing really well. She came to church this Sunday and really enjoyed it. She has a boyfriend named Calvin who we also started to teach after being referred to him by Michael who is Calvin's friend and Calvin and Janelle don't live too far from him. She is Catholic. Luke is a ball of fun. He is such a great kid.  

This is Odellia. She recently was baptized. She loves coming to church and the happiness it brings her. She is awesome.
This is Alma. We were able to figure out a good day for her so we can visit her. She got Sunday's off so now we are going to be teaching her on Sundays. We are trying to coordinate with Shatal too so we can teach both of them.
This is Villia who is Alma's sister. We've been helping her work through keeping the word of wisdom and keeping the law of chastity. She has strong desires to follow christ and be baptized and she is willing to work toward and live these laws. 
This is Joan, her mother, and her 2 year old baby girl. They are doing well. She is reading her book of mormon and praying about baptism. 
This is Candice and her kids. We haven't been able to meet with her much, but we will. 
We had some smores on our last night together. It was Elder Moli's first time having it and he liked it.
This is Shenelle. She came for her third time this Sunday. She is doing really well. The Sister's area has closed and now we took over the sister's area. It's good to be able to still teach Shenelle. 
Some of the kids playing cricket. 

Elder Kuru and I right after his arrival into St. Lucia. He has really been enjoying his time here. We are getting along really well. Our teaching is going great together. It's really fun to teach with him. The spirit is really strong and powerful when we teach.

This is where we Elders love to eat out at. It is a Philipino restaurant that we call pino. They have good food. We ate here one last time with the Elders leaving.

We had a really fun branch activity on Saturday. Both branches combined and came together for a great time. We played games had food and good times together. It was good to see the members again down in Vieux Fort.