Sunday, October 30, 2016

Letter and Pictures - Week 65

Dear Family,

I send my love from all the way over here in Barbados! 

Here are some inspiring and uplifting thoughts from our beloved prophet Gordon B. Hinckley:

"Be believing. Be happy. Don't get discouraged. Things will work out. 

Do not despair. Do not give up. Look for the sunlight through the clouds. Opportunities will eventually open up to you. 

You look with optimism, work with faith, and things happen. 

Strength comes from repentance.

Every day is a great day in my life. I hope every day is a great day in your lives. Life is good. Let's go out and have a good day and help somebody along the way."

I love this gospel and I am so grateful to be a part of it. I'm happy living it and I love to share it. This week has been pretty great. This week we had Thelma and Fred come to the baptism of Elvis (One of the sister's investigators) and then they came to church. They loved both. They have been thinking a lot about baptism and have been praying hard about it. During gospel principles as they were introducing themselves Thelma said she has been struggling hard because she belongs to another faith but she thinks she will join this church. Fred said he can't wait for the day when he can call us all his brothers and sisters. It made my heart swell. They both were really fellow-shipped by the branch which I was really grateful for. They said it feels like a family to them. It's been a joy to teach them. We also had a lady named Joy with a new born baby come to church. She loved it and too was fellow-shipped. She is planning on making something and coming to the branch picnic activity next Saturday as well as church. Church was the great highlight of our week. We had a lot of fall through appointments but these great blessings make up for it. We had a good trade off with the Zone Leaders. They are great. Elder Powell and I had a good time. I'm really impressed by the leaders here in Barbados. Elder Tye has really been doing a phenomenal job as a district leader. He plans very well for his great district mtgs and he puts a lot of effort into his nightly calls to make them effective and it's helping the district out. It's been a real joy to serve with him. P-days here in Barbados we play a lot of sports. We played ultimate one week, soccer another, and football this week. It's been fun. I love these wonderful missionaries that  I get to serve around. I love you all! I really do. You all are my family and a family I'm blessed to be a part of. :) This gospel is true. It's the way of happiness! Take good care everyone! 

With great love,
Elder King
Church! Who knew going to church could be so much fun and bring so much joy!! This was the best part of my week! Love these great people!  (Top: Joy and her daughter; Botom: Fred and Thelma)

I decided to put on my suit since I never wear it. It looked good but felt weird to wear. I don't know what I'm going to do when I get home. haha

Elder Tye being a great district leader!
We make personal pizzas at times and I'm happy when we do! They are good. We put bbq sauce and pineapple on it and it's mm mm good :)

I wanted cereal one night but I wanted a big bowl so I grabbed a mixing bowl and filled it full of cereal

So much cereal! But I put into practice what I learned from running and I just kept going and persevered. It was like a marathon. A cereal eating marathon. I finished and I was like yes I did it! ...But then my tummy hurt... haha

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Letter and Pictures - Week 64

It's been a happy week. One of the great successes this week came from an older couple named Thelma and Fred. We recently started teaching them and we taught them a few times this week. They are so great. We invited Thelma one lesson to invite Fred to join in the lesson. She said that he isn't really a church person but she did anyway. He decided he would come down to join. That lesson not only was Thelma interested but Fred as the lesson progressed was too and even more so. When we invited them to come to church. Thelma was indecisive and looked to Fred for an answer and he quickly said yes. They both came to the district conference this week and they loved it. They are both doing really well. It made me so happy when they came. I had a lot of joy in my heart. The conference was really something special. The talks were inspiring.

We have several good investigators that have potential and we have contacted into several that I'm excited to begin teaching. One that we contacted was a young family. They were married and had two young boys. They were very happy when we met them and were very excited to have us come back. Their names are Shani and Cory. We also began teaching a mother and her 23 year old son. Their names are Joy and Akiel. Akiel read everything we gave him and wrote question down that he had. Joy wan't able to read but in our first discussion we found that she has really been exercising her faith lately unto repentance. The Lord has been working with them to prepare them. She gave up drinking, bad music, swearing, and even forgave a few that she felt she needed to forgive. It was wonderful to meet with them. There is a recent convert that we are teaching named Keemar and he is a look a like to Will Smith. His facial expressions reminds me so much of him. It's kinda cool. There was another lady named Joy who has a 6 month old daughter and we just had our first lesson with her. She is great and wants to be with her family forever. She accepted baptism. We contacted into a young pastor of another faith and had a restoration lesson with him and gave him a copy of the book of mormon. We followed up with him to see if he read and he said that he read the introduction, the testimonies and the first four chapters and that he hasn't found anything to be wrong with it. That was cool to hear.

Elder Tye and I are doing great together. It's been fun. I'm learning how to be even more obedient and we are always working on things that we can improve on. It brings an increase of the spirit and it makes life good no matter what happens. Elder Tye has two siblings. One older and one younger brother. He is a smart guy. He liked to build rockets back home. His mother is from Jamaica. He came out with Elder Whipple in Sept. but he went home for 3 months because of medical leave. He was biking and broke his collar bone. He hit his front brakes really hard going fast and flipped over them and broke it. He is fine now. He will hit his one year of serving shortly. He served in St. Lucia around me when I was with Elder Whipple. He is great.

Barbados is great. It isn't like any of the other islands. It is way more developed and a lot like America. It isn't as poor here but you still find poverty all around. It is really flat so that makes it really nice for biking. Otherwise it would be killer. The city is Christ Church. There are three branches here and this past Sunday we had a District Conference with all three branches.

Elder Dixon still hasn't emailing me about the baptisms nor photos but I heard Kelly-Ann was baptized the two Saturdays ago and the other two were baptized this past Saturday. I emailed him to send me some photos but he hasn't yet.

I believe I forwarded the mailing addresses for all of the islands a while ago but the Barbados mailing address is Trident Financial Center, Hwy7, Hastings, Christ Church, Barbados, BB15156.

I love you all!
Elder King

This is our apartment. It is nice. I like it.

District Conference!

On our way over to conference and we thought we would bring the keyboard along with ;) #playingthepianointhecar

It was held at the Savannah Hotel. It was beautiful there. 

One with Elder Tye.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Letter Home - Week 63

Hey everybody!

It's been a fun first week in Barbados though I haven't heard yet about the baptism. Elder Dixon is going to send me photos but hasn't yet.  The beginning of the week I said my goodbyes. Thankfully I was able to say goodbye to a lot of people at conference. I had my final zone mtg. as a zone leader. It was a good mtg. It's been fun to be a leader and getting a lot of opportunities to teach. We taught about finding and we did some fun contacting role plays. We also taught about virtue. Wednesday morning was hectic with all the flights. The sisters crashed their car into the gate at the church during all of it which made it really fun but everything worked out well. We did a lot of driving to pick up the outlying companionships because the senior couple was busy doing other things. When I got in to Barbados Elder Tye and I went straight to work. We've been doing a lot of contacting to build up our area. He is such a great missionary. He is always serving. Service service service. It's fun serving with him. We get along well together. He is super diligent, obedient, and very helpful. We've been able to find some good people to begin teaching. Right now we are teaching two different Adrians that are doing pretty good. One came to church and he enjoyed it. The other was coming but then someone parked in front of his car making it so he couldn't get out to come to church. We've had a couple lessons with them both and they were good. I no longer have a car which I'm okay with. We have bikes. Now instead of feeling like I'm a taxi driver I feel like I'm on the Tour De France. We are on our bikes all the time. It's fun though. It's exerting but it feels nice. It helps to keep me in shape. Church was probably my favorite part of the week. It was really nice there. The branch is really solid and there is a sweet, pure spirit here among the people. I love feeling the spirit. It is so filling and nourishing to my soul. It's so refreshing to go to church after a long week or if I'm struggling and having a hard time. I feel renewed. I love going to church. I also feel it as I study the loving instructions from my Heavenly Father. It inspires me and I receive answers to my problems. I also feel it as I sincerely pray. If I just go through the motions then I don't but if I really talk with Him I find whatever I'm looking for even if I don't know what that exactly is when I begin my prayer. I love all of you and encourage you to strengthen your relationship with your Father in Heaven through these three powerful ways. I know they work. I promise you will be happy. I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder King

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Letter Home - Week 62

Dear Family,

     What a great week it has been. I loved General Conference. It was a great spiritual feast. Earlier in the week I went on a trade off with Elder Merritt in his area. We spent a lot of good time contacting which was good and towards the end of the night we had a couple good lessons. As we talked about the last lesson of the night Elder Merritt was honest and shared some light on my teaching and helped me see where I could be better. I was thankful for it. During our weekly planning Elder Dixon also helped me out as we talked to help us be more unified. That was a big blessing to me as I recognized where I needed to be more humble and what I needed to change. He has been a great companion these short six weeks and has really helped me a lot.
     There was a hurricane storming through all the islands this week. We were prepared and were watching it closely. It was to hit us on Wednesday but it was a normal clear, sunny, and beautiful day. Thursday it was raining hard in the morning with some good wind but after we finished our studies and planning it cleared up so we could go out and work. We were told on Wednesday to stay in so we stayed in the whole day when all the way up to 5:00-6:00 we could've gone out. It got worse at night and started to rain a lot. We had a bbq on our grill that day. I read and studied a lot too. It was a nice day. The storm didn't really hit us at all but it did hit other islands like Barbados and St. Lucia.
     This week we got our transfer calls. Well after 3 months in the great Grenada Zone and Branch and after almost a year of being a zone leader I've been transferred and released. I have been called to serve in Barbados to serve with Elder Tye. I served around him in Vieux Fort and he is a great missionary. I'm excited for that. He will be the district leader and I will be a normal missionary. I've served my time as a leader and now it's time for others to have there turn to learn and grow. I'm so grateful for the time to have been a zone leader and the great blessings that flowed from it. It changed my life. It's a tough call to receive. Transfers were an unexpected change for me and it is bitter sweet. It's hard to leave now because I've loved the short time I was here with the people here(members, missionaries(We really do have the best zone), and investigators). I will miss the upcoming baptisms. Kelly-Ann, Wendy, and Princess will be baptized this Saturday and I leave on Wednesday. Danielle's date might be pushed back. It's tough knowing I won't be at MLC anymore. It would've been also nice to serve with Elder Dixon longer too. But on the flip side there are also many good things and I feel that this is where the Lord needs me right now. I'm excited to serve with Elder Tye! I've always wanted to serve in Barbados. It also means no more reports! haha :) I can also now spend a lot more time serving and doing real missionary work. It's a sacrifice but it will all work out and it's for the best. The Lord knows best.
     What I loved from conference was the wonderful music and the overall theme from the talks of missionary work and the missionary lessons, love, and repentance. The music was inspiring and uplifting. I learned a great deal from conference as I came with questions. I felt like the talks were directed towards me. The things I needed to hear were spoken. I felt a great joy and love in my heart during and after conference. We had Kelly-Ann, Wendy, and Princess come again to conference and they loved it. Danielle unfortunately didn't come like she was planning. We even went by her in the morning and she was doing what she needed to to come. I was surprised she didn't show up. We called and went by to find out why but she didn't answer and she was asleep as we came by after conference. 
    The most special experience of the week was teaching Lamar. We met Lamar at a member's home this week as we were having an FHE and he joined in. We left him some pamphlets and exchanged contact information. We later in the week got a call from him. He said he read what we left him and he wanted to talk about it. He said he wants to take baptism seriously. We were like okay! We later that day had an incredible lesson with him. I felt the spirit very strongly. I also felt a great deal of love for Lamar. He is truly an incredible man. He has a daughter that he loves very much and will all he can for her. He is actively looking for a job and doing his best to put his life in order. He has a very broken heart and wants to learn all the truth he can. We shared with him a copy of the Book of Mormon. As he took it he handled it as the great treasure that it is and read from it's pages in awe. A light shown on his face. We invited him to read. He said yes. We invited him to general conference later that day. He said yes. We invited him to be baptized. He said yes and did so with tears in his eyes and gratitude in his heart. This is what he wanted. He accepted a date. It was truly a spiritual event and as we taught we taught with power that you could feel. It was amazing and I'm grateful to have met him and had this experience before I left. He lives in the sister's area so we referred him over to them. He later came to general conference and loved it.
     Well I love you all so much! I know this work and this gospel is true. I testify of it with all my heart. I have felt the sweet witness of the Holy Ghost many times and I have felt the joy and love that comes from living the gospel. I know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us dearly and they want us to love them. 

With great love,
Elder King

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Letter Home - Week 61

Hey Everybody!

It's good to hear about how all of you are doing! Keep doing good! Keep making good choices! I love you all! This week has been good for us. We had Kelly-Ann come to institute which she loved and the family came to church! Princess is kind of funny. She is a little crazy at times but we had a lesson on reverence that helped. She loves church and the friends she is making there. She is always happy and giggly like the rest of the family. They all have a good happy glow about them. Princess said she wants to be baptized too. We had several trade offs this week with the other Elders that went really well. I had a good time teaching with them. Danielle didn't come to church this week because of some excuse but she said that she read and has questions for when we come back so that's good. We had an awesome FHE with Bro. James this week and we are going to have another one today. Michael the son hasn't really been active or interested lately but when we had the FHE he came alive and really enjoyed himself and fully participated in the lesson. He was really excited for the next FHE and Joseph said that he would join next time too. We found Joseph reading one day in the book of mormon when we came over which was a great surprise. Bro. James is doing really well. He came to church and said the opening prayer in sacrament mtg. We had zone conference with President and Sister Herrington on Tuesday and Elder Dixon and I taught an hour segment of the mtg that was really good. President Herrington made the mtg come alive as he taught. It was wonderful. We had a wonderful dinner provided by the senior couple after during the interviews by President Herrington. It was amazing. Elder Dixon and I make good meals but it was a treat to have a real good home cooked meal  :) Well I love you all! I know God loves us and desires our happiness that comes from making good day to day decisions! The gospel is true!
Elder King