Sunday, June 26, 2016

Letter Home - Week 47

Hey family!

This week has been good. We went on a trade off with Elder Nixon and Elder Arzu. They are having a tough time. The trade off was good and we were able to have a day full of great lessons and good contacting but even after they still weren't getting along. I don't know how much it helped. They've had several arguments with each other and it makes it difficult for them to have the spirit. I also went on a trade off with Elder Mikolyski since Elder Merritt is down with his wisdom teeth removal. It was really good. We were able to finish off the night visiting with a recent convert named Odellia who has been having a hard time lately and has missed church the past few weeks. She is great but her circumstances are a burden on her and make things difficult but we were able to go there and have a great spiritual lesson to help lift the burden and it did. She committed to come to church. She was really happy and grateful that we came. It made us both really happy as well that we could help her. We taught Janelle about eternal families and the temple ordinances and it was a really powerful lesson. It was what she needed. We went through the new pamphlet about it and helped her understand the end goal of living in eternal families with Heavenly Father and road to get there. She still has doubts and fears. She wants to make the right decision and I think she is afraid of making the wrong decision. We talked about her testimony more. She isn't firm on her testimony of the restoration through Joseph Smith and so we invited her to pray. We gave Ether 12 to her along with a good talk about faith by Elder Holland called The Best Is Yet To Be where it refers to Lot's wife and how she looked back. I think it's one that will really help her. We will teach her more about faith and overcoming fear. We are really trying to do all we can to help her. She is such a great individual and has a wonderful family. We taught Joan as well. We finished the basic commandments and helped her understand about prayer, scripture study, and church and how Heavenly Father expects us to obey and He will bless. She has financial concerns which makes it hard for her to come to church. We also asked about her testimony and she found and understood that she needed to pray. We committed her to do so and we will follow up with her on that. We've begun teaching quite a few new people that are showing some good signs. We started teaching a lady named Porsha and she is great. She read what we left, asks good questions and is committed. We committed her to be baptized and she committed herself to work towards July 23. We hope all goes well with that. We still have plans to find and begin teaching as many new people as we can. We are finding that a lot of the people that we are teaching are the elect of God but aren't quite ready now. We are dropping many of them. It's hard and sad but necessary. It will only help them in the future. We again weren't able to have anyone come to church. That was hard. It makes me really concerned for a lot of these great people that we are teaching. Joan had her concerns but she said she will be getting paid next week and said she will come next week. Janelle read but she didn't come to church. With Father's day she went elsewhere with family. I hope and pray for them and do all I can for these people that I love but ultimately it's their decision. It's hard. I love you all so much. I think about you and pray for you. Keep doing good. Well I hope you have a great week.

Elder King

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Letter and Pictures - Week 46

Hey my dear family!

It's been a pretty great week. We were able to visit with Janelle on Saturday. Unfortunately she didn't read since the last time which is unusual since she always reads what we give her. We brought a strong member (Sister Sarah) out with us to visit her. It was such a powerful lesson. Sister Sarah was Catholic too and being around the same age as Janelle, she also being a single mother with kids, and being the same gender it created a good connection between the two. We talked about Alma 34, which is what we left with her, and went through some of the versus. We read versus from that chapter and elsewhere that focused on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and really helped her understand it. We led it into a conversation about her concern with still having connections with the Catholic Church. We talked about choices and also about how in order to step from one stone to the next we have to leave the one we are on. We gave her a good talk about Decision Making the Lord's Way and she committed herself to read it. We are thinking about talking with her about "letting go" and "moving forward" to help with her troubles of letting go of old habits and traditions. I asked President Herrington about Janelle and her situation and he counseled to teach about the doctrines of eternal families and temple ordinances. Janelle did say that she wants to take things little by little but that she does want to continue moving forward in faith. We will do our best to help her overcome her concerns. We invited her to pray also, after she reads the talk, about her decision to be baptized. She said she would. We invited her to come to church and she committed herself to and then we came to find out that her mother ended up being home that morning and she went with her mother to the Catholic church. That was really sad. Oh and Janelle and Calvin I don't think will be getting married in the future. She's been hurt by him several times and I think shut the door on that matter with him. She doesn't want Luke to be without his father and it was one thing that was so hard for her and that's one reason that she let him back into her life but I think it's over now. It's sad. Shenelle left to Canada. She is on vacation there. She said she is going to visit the temple there. That made me happy to hear. She also said she would read and study each day that she is out there. I hope so. She said she will have a lot more time. This Sunday we went out in the morning to walk with our investigators to church and bus with them and we had confidence that there were going to be many of them there at church but we ended up not having any. That was so hard. We've been thinking a lot about our area and our investigators and we are thinking that we need to have a better flow of new investigators so it progress doesn't become stagnant. We've really set some good goals and made some good plans to help make that happen. Things are looking good for the future. We taught Joan a couple times. We taught about prayer to help with her receiving answers and we started into the commandments to help teach about the commandment to go to church to help her come. They were good lessons. We ended up not getting through all of the commandment lesson which is okay. We will teach the rest on Tuesday. She has been finding it hard to actually commit to doing some of the things that we invite her to do but this week she actually committed herself to coming to church next week for the first time. Hooray!! She's come to GC but not church. I really hope she comes or we'll really have to pray about the decision to continue to teach her or not. She is one of the elect of God but it may be that she's not quite ready as yet. But there are really signs that she is showing forth. Things have been going well. I loved hearing about all the good in each of your lives. It brightens my week each time I open my email. Trek sounds like a blast. It brings back good memories. Thanks for all your prayers, your kind words, and your love. God loves us. The Savior's Atonement is real. Families are forever. The Church is true. These are some great and precious truths. Another is that I love you all! Take care and have a great week. 
Elder King

Hello from St. Lucia!!!  Isn't this place just awesome?!  Love ya'll!

'Jungle Swingin' - Aaaahhhoohhhaaahhhh!  Watch out for that tree!
Punny Photo - I see you!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Letter Home - Week 45

Dear Family,

This week has been good. We finally were able to teach a less active in our area named Yuandia. She has desires to come back to church and her schedule is changing for work so she will be able to. The Lord is preparing the way for her to come back. We had a really good lesson with her about the Holy Ghost and how it warns and prompts us to repent and do good. She had a question about it. We continue to teach Janelle who is the girlfriend of the guy that moved back to Guyana. She and her son, Luke, stayed and the boyfriend, Calvin, left. I'm glad we get to continue to teach her. She is doing better and moved past what she was going through. I think the lesson and talk on the Strengthening power of the Atonement helped her. She has a testimony!! We taught a lesson with her on Saturday and she expressed that she knows the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, and that the Church has been restored. She still has a few concerns with family that we are working with her to clear up. She has been progressing very well. She reads a lot and marks good things she likes as she reads. She is torn though because she grew up Catholic and her family (Mother and Father) are still devout Catholics. Family is really important to her. She would always go with her family to church. She said she knew it is true but honestly speaking she would come to church three Sunday's out of the month and then the fourth go with her family to the Catholic. She wouldn't go to the Catholic Church because of the church but to be with her family. We are working with her on it. During that lesson we were teaching about the commandments of prayer, scripture study, and attending church when the concern came up. We talked to her about it and taught and testified of the restoration, the priesthood, the need for baptism into the Church, and weekly partaking of the sacrament. She understood and she said she would pray more about it. We are planning on giving her more talks on the subject that would help her with her concern. I was wondering if any of you had any good thoughts that might help her? I had told her in an earlier lesson to imagine what it would be like to be a member and she said that she has. Joan we had a good lesson with her this week. Right now she is going through a tough time and needing answers to her prayers. We taught about a few things that she could do to help her show her faith that would help the needed answers come. We taught about Alma and how he fasted and prayed many days that he might receive his answer. We also taught about how D&C 8 about how she needs to actively do things to seek her answer like scripture study, church attendance, and studying out her decision and even actively pursuing that decision instead of just praying to God for an answer and then sitting around waiting on Him. Answers come as we act in faith. Help comes as we ask in faith and act. Healing comes as we ask in faith and act. If we break our leg we can ask for God to heal us but he would require us to act in faith and go to a hospital to seek that healing. He can help make the process go smoothly and help with a quick recovery but not if we don't actively do something to help in the process. The same goes for spiritual healing. We can't just sit around waiting for answers and waiting on God. We must seek that ourselves. I promise that healing can and will come as we seek it. I know that the Atonement is real. It is a real power. We can find healing as we humbly ask for help in faith. I know that Heavenly Father is aware of the details in our lives. He loves us. He really does. I love you all and continue to pray and fast for you. Exercise your faith. Seek that spiritual, emotional, and mental healing. Heavenly Father will make you stronger and bless us with those things you need. You will find peace and happiness. Always remember your future is as bright as your faith. Take care! Thanks for emailing and letting me know how you all are doing. I would love to hear from each of you! I love you!
Elder King

Monday, June 6, 2016

Letter and Pictures - Week 44

Dear loved ones,

Yesterday I hit my ten month here in the mission. It's been flying by so fast. Saturday I received the transfer calls and I will be staying here in St. Lucia with Elder Kuru. It's going to be fun! I'll serve half of my mission here in St. Lucia. I'm never going to leave haha It's nice to serve on one island for a while because then I really get to know the place and then when I return I'll still remember it pretty well and be able to get around everywhere and know where the cool places are. I've really enjoyed my time as a missionary here and I've learned and grown a lot. I hope I can make the most of the rest of my mission. I received the letter from the Jensen's. I really appreciated it. Tell them thank you for me please. I've received several letters from members of the ward as well. They are nice to receive. This week we lost, Calvin, one of our really promising investigators because he moved back to Guyana. Him and Janelle, his girlfriend, were progressing really well. The good thing is that he took his book of Mormon and plans to go to church there and find the missionaries and she is still progressing. She was having a really hard time with the whole situation. We gave her a talk Sunday morning for her to read from the October General Conference given by Elder Oaks called, "Strengthened by the Atonement of Jesus Christ" when we came by to talk to her and invite her to come to church. We then came back Sunday evening to talk with her about it and help her. She read the talk about the Atonement and then we talked and testified about the healing power of the Atonement and Christ's ability to help her as she faithfully asks for it. It was a spiritually uplifting experience and it really helped her. Shenelle came to church again this week. Unfortunately she wasn't able to pick up Villia and Alma for church. They wanted to come. Shenelle was the only one who came. Janelle was crying a lot and having a hard time so she didn't come this week but after we sat down and talked with her she said she will come next week. That talk is a great one for Michael to read. I would invite all of you to read it. It's message is powerful. I know through Christ that we can find the healing we need. His power can reach each one of us no matter how low we are or feel and lift each one of us to new heights of comfort, peace, and happiness. We can be healed whether it's temporal, spiritual, social, mental, or emotional through Christ as we humbly ask for his help. I love you all. I pray for each of you. Keep going and keep the faith.
With much love,
Elder King

Janelle and Calvin had us over for her birthday lunch two Sunday's ago. The food was delicious. Janelle, Calvin, and her mother Diane made the food. It was so nice of them. Plus we got some ice cream at the end! Mmm Mmm good :)

We taught Odellia a few times this past week. We went up on top of her house and had the lesson up there. She is a recent convert of a little less than a year. She is awesome. We went over another talk from the October Conference Address by Elder Uchtdorf called, "A Summer with Great Aunt Rose". It's anther good one for you all to read. It's about a girl who is unhappy about her current situation and then learns from her great aunt rose about finding happiness despite challenging and difficult circumstances.

Lunch at the mission home for MLC in Barbados. So good :)

Fly by over Martinique when we were coming back from Barbados. The islands are so pretty.

The water looks so nice! Too bad I can't go swim...  haha

Life of a Missionary!

6:30am - Wake Up! Wake Up! It's time to get ready and go!

Doing some laundry...I kinda need to so I can have some clothes to wear.

Sometimes I feel like Cinderella ;) Gotta make them floors shinny!

Yes Mom we clean the bathroom too haha

Don't forget breakfast! I like breakfast! Yummy

Washin' the car. Gotta keep her shinny too!

Whoa! The hose packs a powerful punch!


We even do the dishes too!

Then I do this a lot but at least it's got a nice view :)  Elder Kuru got his license now so we switch and take turns driving.

He's a good driver

Pray pray pray everyday :) It's what we like to do!