Sunday, July 31, 2016

Letter and Pictures - Week 52

Hey Family!

     Well I'm half way there! This week is #52 and on Friday it will be one whole year here on my mission! It's been wonderful. My testimony has blossomed. My gospel knowledge and understanding has grown immensely. I'm a better person because of giving my life to the Lord.
     Genada is a beautiful. It is a lot like St. Lucia but even more beautiful and more developed. There are a lot of similarities between the two islands. There is still a lot of poverty and yes there are Rastas here as well. The church is in a city called Grand Anse and we along with two other sets of Elders live real close to the church. We live on the same street. All of us have our own apartments. We are a little closer to the church than the others and they are in the same complex building. It's nice being close. Our area is called St. George's. We are in the St. George's branch and then there are two groups a far ways away. One is 45 minutes away on the left side of the island called Gouyave and the other is 1 hour away on the right side of the island and it's called Grenville. There is one companionship for each group. There are 5 companionships in St. George's. The St. George's branch is a lot stronger with families but there are still many single mothers.
Elder Kasteler is great! We get along really well. He loves sports and is a chill guy. He also has a strong testimony and loves the Lord. He has been out a little less than me. About 9 months. He has been on Grenada for awhile now. He will leave either this or the next transfer. He has been a ZL for a transfer or two. He is 19 now but he came out when he was 18.
Elder Kasteler and I are working really well and there has been some really wonderful miracles occurring in the lives of those we teach. We had a lady named Elizabeth who has been taught before by Elder Merrell and Elder Spencer and then a couple times when Elder Kasteler came but for some reasons the lessons took a pause. She wasn't really progressing then but we passed by to see how she was doing as we were in the area and then invited her to read. She said she would but then as we followed up she still hadn't read. We recommitted her and then came back for a lesson to come to find that she had actually read and her heart had changed. She had felt a real power as she read. She could sense that it made a big difference in her life and it helped her. She wasn't really accepting baptism before but after she read 3 Nephi 11 (which was like her first time in the book) she knew she needed to repent and be baptized and she wanted to be baptized by the proper authority. We were taken back when she told us but we were excited! We taught about the restoration and she understood and accepted that this is the one true church of Jesus Christ restored in these latter days. She was involved and interested. It was great.
I can't remember if I wrote about Lania before but we met a lady named Lania one night after we finished a little lesson at the Maturines. She came in for some credit on her phone and then left but we didn't let this opportunity slide away and we went and talked with her. She was absolutely the most prepared person that I've contacted into. She had been praying for answers to something that she is going through and she had a couple other missionaries for other faiths try to give her tracks and such earlier that night but she wouldn't accept them but as we stopped her to talk she felt different and as we were talking she recognized that we were an answer to her prayer. She believes in marriage and family and waiting to have children until after marriage. We gave her a track and she was in awe by it and went straight home to read it. She read it and wants us to come back to teach her. Though unfortunately she is leaving for England for four weeks now but we will teach her when she gets back. She teaches math to Junior High age kids.( I thought Dad might like that little tidbit) :).
Well I love you all! I hope you all make the best of this week and that the Lord will bless all of you. I know we have a Heavenly Father who loves us dearly.
With much love,
Elder King

Elder Kasteler and I with our Brother James Charles who is a recent convert to the church. This was taken at the church building. The church is right by the ocean and it has a beautiful view. There was a baptism this week for the sisters and the baptism was done right there behind the church. It's really cool.



Sunday, July 24, 2016

Letter and Picture - Week 51

Wow this has been a fun week! I feel like I'm starting over a new mission with the change. I love it. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I went by and visited everyone that I could to say goodbye since I probably won't be back in St. Lucia for a long time. Monday we saw Charlene and had a good lesson with her on the book of mormon. She continues her reading. We asked if she felt if the book of mormon is making a difference in her life and she said no. As we talked further we found that has seen a difference in her life recently but didn't connect it to the book of mormon. She has felt more strength lately for her to make changes in her life and we were able to help her see that the book of Mormon helps give her that strength. As she reads her faith increases and as it does it enables her to have the strength to make those life changes and change her views on life. I hope to hear more about how she is doing from Elder Kuru. Tuesday and Wednesday we weren't really able to have any lessons but we were able to make daily contact with a lot of investigators and members to say goodbye. I hope the best for all of them. I love them all. They are wonderful and I've really enjoyed serving them. I got dropped off at the airport and said my goodbyes to Elder Kuru and took some nice pictures. He is such a great guy. Well leaving St. Lucia was hard. After so long I grew attached. As the plane took off I felt how I felt one year ago when I was leaving with all of you all to the MTC. I felt like I was leaving home. Lots of love for the people in St. Lucia. I have many great memories made there and have met so many wonderful people. I won't forget them. So I'm serving with Elder Kasteler here in Grenada. It's been great already. It will be fun serving with him. We are doing well as a companionship. We have found a couple people this week who are friends and family of members and we are really excited to start working with them. The most success I've had on my mission has been working around the members and I'm really excited for this area right now because we've sought some referrals the way shown at MLC and we received some good ones. The branch here is really good and there are a ton of great members. I'm really hoping and working to baptize in this transfer and in the coming ones. One of the people we are beginning to work with is Valicia. She really has strong desires to change and has already begun acting in faith through prayer and scripture study. I've never met someone more ready and determined to change. That strong desire and faith is necessary for true repentance and we think she is really ready. We are going to extend baptism to her next time we see her. She's been to church before too. With transfers we've spent a lot of time running around doing this and that but the time that we've spent proselyting has been good. It's a good area. We met a lady named Kiesha by a member and she is pretty cool. We were teaching the member family at their little bakery shop and then she came and joined in. She too has been to church before. We will see what comes from it in later lessons. Sunday was great. There are young med student families here in Grenada and it adds a lot of strength to the branch. There are a lot of strong members here as well. One of the recent converts named James that we are working with gave a talk in sacrament mtg. It was good for his first talk. He bore his testimony and it was nice. He has some old habits when he prays that we are helping him with but he is so humble and submissive. He is willing to make the little changes. Today we went to a lake here and played a little soccer. It was a nice lake. It made me feel like I was in Utah but then I looked at the landscape around the lake and you could see palm trees instead of a forest. Well I love you all. You are all in my prayers. The church is true. The Gospel is sure. Heavenly Father's plan is perfect. Our part is to adjust ourselves to the standard but we are not alone in the adjustment because Christ suffered the Atonement. We must humbly pray for help and we will receive. We all are in need of this divine help. I love all of you. All the best and take care.
Elder King

Charlene and her kids

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Letter and Pictures - Week 50

Hey family!

Well it's been fun serving here in St. Lucia this long time. It really has. The time has now come for me to leave. We got transfer calls yesterday afternoon from President and I will be flying out Wednesday to Grenada to be with Elder Kasteler serving as ZL with him. It's going to be stellar serving with E. Kasteler haha :) Elder Kuru is staying here as ZL with an Elder who was serving in VF named Elder Page. It's been really fun serving with Elder Kuru these past two transfers. He's been a real good friend and will be a brother for life. We are both excited for a change but it won't be an easy one. This week has been a good final week here in St. Lucia. It will be hard to leave but it's time. We were able to have an investigator named Lucy come to church this week and she loved it. She already knew some of the members and was glad she came. She has great desires to be baptized. It was really good on Monday to be able to go out teaching President. I learned some good things and had a great time teaching the gospel. We taught Charlene and Joan. Charlene is a new investigator who is really prepared. She is already on 1 Nephi ch. 9 since last we visited her. She accepted the invitation to be baptized and was tearing up when we invited her and she said yes. She prayed at the end of the lesson and it was great. The spirit was really strong during those lessons we had with President and our investigators were touched. It was a neat experience. We taught Joan about receiving her answers. She was really open and honest about what she was going through and experiencing in seeking the truth. She hasn't received her answer yet and we talked about how one of the prerequisites to her receiving her answer is exercising her faith and coming to church. She is struggling with committing herself. It was a great lesson with her though we feel like she isn't quite ready as yet. We taught Janelle Sunday night. She again wasn't able to come because of work. She has had a real heavy work load the past few weeks. There are a lot of things going on at work. She had many questions as she was thinking a lot about the last lesson we had with her. She was wondering more about the Celestial Kingdom and had questions about the sealing. After answering her questions we talked to her about forgiveness and found that she in a month is going to Trinidad to make restitution with her Aunt after a long time of withholding forgiveness. That was cool to hear about. We also talked with her about her receiving her answer. She said she feels like she needs to stay where she is for now which makes sense since she hasn't been to church in a while and her reading has been struggling. We let her know that she needs to increase her church attendance and her scripture study so she can have to best chance of making the right choice. She said she had really appreciated the time we've spent teaching her. It's been a big blessing to her. That made me feel good to hear. Maybe at this time she isn't ready but she said maybe in the future she will be. I sure hope so. She deserves an Eternal Family. I would love to she her whole family come into the church. The Elders will visit her a few more times to see if there's any more progression and if not then she will be dropped for now. We went on a trade off with Elder Sandbakken and Elder Cox. I went with Elder Cox and we were able to have a couple good lessons and also apply some principles of finding that we learned. We went to a great location near a store in the middle of our area and contacted as many people as we could. We found a couple people I think will be great investigators just from the short interactions that we had. We had a lady named Janella stop us on Saturday because she was curious about what we were doing and we had a great lesson on Sunday where she accepted the invitation to be baptized and to read and pray about the book of mormon. She was involved at the beginning of the lesson but by the end she was asking great questions and as we answered them with the scriptures she was super focused and listening intently. It was great. Teaching the gospel is fun! It's been a great here in St. Lucia. The people here will be missed. I love you all so much and I hope you all have a great week!

With much love,
Elder King
Made some banana bread this week! It was really good! Thanks Kim for the recipe! :)

 Yum! It was so yummy that the ants tried to have some.
We also played some dominos while eating dominos pizza at dominos :) It was fun! 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Letter and Pictures - Week 49

This week has been good. We had a good week of proselyting this week. We've been led to more fathers and families as we've prayerfully sought to find such. One of my favorite lessons this week was actually just last night after the Book of Mormon Fireside by the Herringtons on Sunday evening. We had a couple investigators that said they were going to be there just earlier that same day but unfortunately they didn't come. It was a good fireside. After we took the Perez' (A young Mexican couple) out with us to Janelle. She is great. She had some doubts about the afterlife and about eternal families and how they are sealed together. We went over a great talk from a Liahona with her about the Plan of Salvation that listed all the questions that you could think of about life after death and answered them. Janelle also had worries of never finding someone to marry after being scarred before. With the Perez' there together as a couple they were able to bear powerful testimony about eternal families and the hope and happiness in the future. It was great for Janelle. The spirit was there and her doubts and her concerns were able to be resolved. She also has questions about what happens after baptism and what it's like to be a member and we gave her the learning and serving in the church pamphlet that we will go over next time. She is building in her testimony and I think that she will be baptized soon. We are going to try to set a date with her next time. Odellia the recent convert who has been struggling with family matters came to church again. That was great. Today we played soccer as a zone. The Herrington's came to watch. You'll probably see pictures on the mission page or something. It was really fun. The field was muddy again from the rain this morning and it was just like last time where we were slipping and sliding all over. It was a fun time. I'm really muddy right now as I'm writing this email just so you know :). We were able to sit down and talk with Elder Nixon and Elder Arzu with a one on one this week and it was really good. I sat with Elder Arzu and Elder Kuru with Elder Nixon. We talked and counseled together to work through some issues. Afterward we were able to sit with president Herrington who happened to be at the church at the time for a little chat. It was good. We visited with Porsha again and finished teaching about the gospel of Jesus Christ. She really understood well about Baptism, the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. She is working towards baptism and trying to prepare herself. Hopefully next week she will come to church with her daughter Kelsha who is 12 or 14. No one came to church again. We have many like Teige and Marie, Marie, and others who committed themselves to coming next week so I'm really hoping. Especially since next Sunday is probably my last here in St. Lucia. I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!
Elder King
We had MLC this week! It was great! We talked a lot about finding new people to teach and so Elder Kuru and I will be teaching zone mtg. tomorrow on that topic and President and Sister Herrington will be there. This is a picture of the mission home all set up for MLC from the skype at the computer at the church where Elder Kuru and I were able to listen in and participate. I love MLC. The spirit is strongly felt and I learn so much.
Now there's people in the photo at the mission home :)
Studying hard :) I love the scriptures. They are true and the promised blessing are real as you read them. The more I read each and every day the more I love them.
At the church in Castries with Elder Kuru. The MLC last from 9:00-1:00. It's a long time but it goes by fast.
Some rice with some turkey sausagae and green banana covered in bbq sauce :)

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Letter and Pictures - Week 48

This week has been good. My favorite day was being able to go on a trade off with Elder Zuniga in my old area of Vieux Fort. That was a fun day as we talked with everyone, had powerful lessons with some less-active members, and saw some old friends. I saw many of the members I knew. We even taught Ambrose again. He has been struggling lately. We were able to also have a great lesson with him as we read a chapter from the book of mormon that was pertinent to him. He was grateful and found some renewed strength from it. I hope he can continue to endure and as he does I know those tough times and experience with be a foundational blessing in his life and will make him stronger. We found some nice, interested people. We were also able to find and regain contact with an old investigator I taught named Andrina that is prepared but wasn't ready at the time. As we spoke we found that she has recently started her reading again, has been praying more, and is glad to start the lessons back again. That was a nice experience. Elder Zuniga is a great missionary. He works hard and he isn't afraid to open his mouth and talk with the people. It was a great time out with him and to learn from his example. Elder Kuru and I have been finding a lot more and had a big focus on gaining new investigators from those we find. It has gone well. We've found and started teaching some great people. Yesterday, was a sad day though for us. We again weren't able to have our investigators come to church. It was hard because for one that meant that it was time to move on and that we wouldn't be teaching her anymore. I thought she was really going to come this time but it didn't happen. Others didn't come but I was glad to find out that they were actually for a good reason. It was still a disappointment. From there I just really wanted to others that would come to church. I wanted to find fathers and families like we've been counseled and I prayed that we would be led to them. After church we weren't having luck with our scheduled appointments and decided to go to another area to make daily contact with an investigator that didn't come to church and contact a referral. We did so and then walked down to bring a member out with us. As we were walking I decided to walk back a little to a home that we just passed and decided to go and see who was inside. We found a lady named Lea and talked with her. We found that she is married with two children and had recently within the past three weeks been given a book of mormon by a friend. She had seen us around the area before and was interested to know more. She was very nice and even invited us in. We didn't have a male at the time with us but we scheduled a day to come back. She even gave us a referral of a friend of hers. I was grateful to have been led to them. It was a wonderful blessing that day. We continued talking to others and found some other great potential. Elder Kuru and I have been trying to make daily contact with our progressing investigators and I've really liked doing so. I find it helps. Some of the new people that we've begun teaching are: Porsha, Marie, Teige and Maria, Alix, and Cruzan.

Porsha: She is great. She is Catholic but doesn't really attend much. We've only taught a few lessons to her but we've already set a date for baptism and we feel that she is really committed to work towards it. She says she's always had a desire to do good and to do the right thing and this is something that she knows is right. She has begun her reading and her prayers. She wasn't able to come to church this week because of sickness but hopefully next week. She is planning on coming. She has a 14 year old daughter named Kelsha and we are going to invite her to participate in the lessons with her mom so hopefully they can be baptized together. 

Marie: She is an older lady of 83 years. She is a faithful Pentecostal but willing to listen to us. She is humble and very accepting of what we teach. She too wasn't able to come Sunday but has also begun her reading. She knows she needs to pray to know the truth but hasn't done so as yet. She is married with six children. Her husband has passed on along with four of her children. We've been teaching her about the plan of salvation and she likes what we've shared. 

Teige and Marie: They are co-workers. Both females. Teige is Catholic and I believe Maria is as well. They are pretty interested in knowing more about our faith. Maria more so than Teige. They had missionaries come by about a year ago only for a few days and then left but they still remember them and enjoyed the short time with them. The missionaries were great and helped them by doing service for them. It made a good impression. Both have begun reading and Maria even prayed to know the truth. She is looking for an answer. Neither has kids that I know of and they are not married. 

 Alix: She lives next door to us. She has I believe three kids and lives with her boyfriend. We contacted her a little while ago but hadn't been able to come back to teach her and one Sunday she showed up at church. We started teaching her shortly after. She is Catholic. We've had two lessons with her. We taught about our purpose for being there and a little about the restoration. It wasn't that great. We came back and talked with her about the book of mormon as she had questions about it. We went over it with her to help her understand and the lesson went very well. She understands what she needs to do. She still has doubts but I think it's because it's just something new and they will be resolved overtime as she seeks answers and understanding. 

Cruzan: She was taught by missionaries a little less than a year ago. She has a six year old son named Tage. She too is Catholic. She began reading and praying. It's refreshing for her and she remembers things from before. Only been able to teach a few lessons with her just as all the others. 

We will be dropping Joan. She just isn't ready at this time. We've also dropped Villia and Candice. We will also drop Stephanie, Michael, Scera, and Alma. They just aren't ready at this time and aren't really progressing. Hopefully sometime in the future they will be picked up by other missionaries and continue their progressing towards life with their Heavenly Father and with their families eternally. I was really sad about Joan. That was hard for her not to come to church. It was hard not to see Janelle there too but we came to find out that she had food poisoning from the night before and was throwing up since 4:00 in the morning. We will continue with Janelle unless she doesn't come to church again. I really hope she does. They both deserve an Eternal Family. We were able to help a recent convert named Odellia come back to church. She hadn't been for several weeks and it was concerning. We had some great lessons with her that strengthened her faith and her testimony. We invited her to bear her testimony and that she said really helped her. As she did it rekindled her testimony and brought back feelings of peace and joy. She came to church and enjoyed it. It was great to have her there. Another less active also came named Kaleb. we haven't been able to actually sit down with him and have a lesson since his work schedule is really busy but have regained contact and called him and invited him to activities at the church. He came and has been to church twice now. That's a cool blessing from the Lord. 

Today, Elder Kuru and I were able to play a round of golf at the Sandals resort here. It was a blast. It was a beautiful course. It even came with a cadee. I'll send some pics. 

I know Heavenly Father is there and watching over us even during the hard times and I know He hears and answers each one of our prayers. He loves us. I love each of you. I hope you have a great week. 

With much love,
Elder King