Sunday, January 29, 2017

Letter Home - Week 78

Hey family,

     It has been another good and successful week! The work is going great here Barbados. Elder Tye and I are having a good time serving the Lord together. He will most likely leave next transfer and it will be sad when he does. He is a great missionary and he has been a great companion. 
     On Monday we went and played volleyball and soccer at the church. A few of us Elders also played a little two on two after which was good fun. I always look forward to P days when we can go and play some sport for a time with all the missionaries. We then went and saw the Sobers. We've been going back over the missionary lessons in depth with them to help them really solidify their knowledge of the lessons. We went over the apostasy sharing scriptures that teach and testify of it. They often share with us experiences they have that have strengthened their testimony that they know this church is true. It's such a blessing to teach them. They study all the time and they've been learning and growing so much from it. 
     On Tuesday after Elder Tye's District Mtg on the Book of Mormon we went contacting to an area we felt we should go. We locked our bike's and then started knocking on as many doors as we could. It wasn't long before we knocked on the door of Melissia and her family. Another prepared family! We haven't met the husband but she is super nice and her two kids are super cute. We shared with her briefly about families and how the gospel has been restored and she was really interested in learning more. She knows a very strong member and she loves all the good feeds that she posts. She said if all the members were like Sister Daniel then that would be awesome. She is really interested in coming to church. She came across the movie Singing with the Angels and it really touched her. She was in awe by the choir. She loves to sing and she was just amazed at how good they were. There was going to be a baptism this Saturday but it got post poned. She was going to be coming to that and was disappointed when it was put off. To our disappointment we found that she is moving to another area soon so we won't be teaching her but the good thing is that it will still be in another missionaries area so they can teach her and her family. She gave us some home made chocolates that she makes for a business. It reminded me of Mom's chocolates. They were so good. They were unique flavors. They were passion fruit, grape fruit, mango and tamarin. It was really nice of her. We also did some hometeaching and saw Sister Gibson. To help her read we set up to text her each morning to remind her and give her an assignment. She was happy that we were going to do that to help her. She began reading.
     Wednesday I had to wake up early to get a police report done for immigration so I can stay legal here. That took our whole morning. The ZL's took us and after we came back and we made them a nice big breakfast for lunch. We saw Sister Meredith and talked about the Book of Mormon and read with her to help her in her reading. She began really reading from the beginning and it's made a difference for her. We did some more hometeaching and then saw Sister Cadet and Junika. We taught about the 10 commandments and to help her did some fun signs to help her remember each one and then played a game with it. It was fun. 
     Thursday after lots of good weekly planning and studies we saw the Sobers again. This time we taught about the Restoration through Joseph Smith and shared scriptures prophesying of it. We saw Dwayne too. We watched the restoration video and spoke how we receive our answers to prayers through the Holy Ghost. He has been doing good with his reading and he committed to pray and ask. We saw Alisean and he was having a rough day. He had problems with school and he lost his basketball game and was upset with his coach. So we sang Did you think to pray with him and read in a chapter from the book of mormon related to his situation and it really helped him feel more at peace. He recognized he needed to forgive his coach. We also saw Nicole and her family. We found their last name is Grant so I will call them the Grant family. They are doing well. We had a short lesson on the beginning part of the restoration.
     Friday we taught Junika again about the word of wisdom and the law of chastity. That was interesting to teach to an 8 year old but we kept it super super simple and it was good. We also saw Sister Jones. We taught about the restoration and it was powerful. She felt the spirit again. She asked the process of becoming a member and she accepted a date for baptism for Feb 18. She knows what we are teaching her is true and she accepted to come to church on Sunday. We also saw Keemar and his mom Caroline. We watched finding happiness with them and it was good. It was a short lesson because it was late and they were tired after a long day at work. It was great that they were still willing to have a lesson. 
     Saturday there was going to be a baptism but it got post poned and that changed our day. We were able to see Dwayne again and we taught specifically about the priesthood authority because he hasn't accepted baptism yet because he has been baptized already and it helped a lot. Things started to click for him. He doesn't completely believe this was the only church with authority but he said he would pray about it. We missed him at church this week but he's been reading. We saw Renee and taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He has been reading and marking in the Book of Mormon and loves it. Though he recognizes that he needs to spend more time in it. We focused a lot on repentance and becoming clean. We found that he has work on Sunday each week for a while so he won't be able to come to church. Maybe he could get a Sunday off but when a Sunday opens up he plans on coming. We also saw Patrick and had a similar lesson as Dwayne about authority for the same reason. It turned out really good. His church has a big function this week so he didn't come to church but he committed to come next Sunday for the whole 3 hours. 
     Sunday was awesome! I gave my talk on missionary work which went over well. People really enjoyed it. Sister Meredith and Thania came to church with the Sobers. Sister Meredith was so happy. She has become a lot more happy lately and it's great! Chedrian came to church! We found that she has been planning on coming for the last serveral weeks but both weeks she went to bed really late and woke up late. Last week she went to bed at 7:00 in the morning and was still planning on waking up to come to church for 10:00 but she slept through. This week she went to bed early so she could wake up and make it to church. She loved it and received great fellowship from Sister Daniel who knew her already. Sister Jones also came and she really loved it. She was very happy and glad she came and she will continue to come. We brought Sister Daniel to the Grant family for another lesson on the restoration. They didn't read what we had assigned because they were busy so we read with them the assigned part from the picture book of mormon about the restoration. Hannah the 12 year old is super bright and understands so well. She talks a lot and asks awesome questions. They accepted to read and pray about it. Nicole said she's been praying. We also saw Juanita. We only saw her. The others were out playing road tennis. She read what we left her. We gave her a family and temples track and she really loved learning that families can be sealed together. She wants that and loves the idea. It gave her a lot of hope that her and her family can make it. She is praying that her family will join. She didn't come this week to church but she fully committed to come next week. We also had a little lesson about agency and the fall with Khalil. He's been doing well. He went out with the other missionaries teaching yesterday and loved it. 
   It's been a great week! We are really happy with our investigators and all the good they are doing. We love them dearly. We are doing all we can to help them learn and accept this gospel. It is the true way to peace and happiness now and for eternity. 
    I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder King

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Letter and Pictures - Week 77

This week has been a great week! We had our District Conference/Area Broadcast this week. It was awesome. It spirit was present and powerful. It felt like a General Conference. Elder Anderson was the Apostle presiding. I thought it was going to be one of the first presidency but Elder Anderson's talk was great. We had many we thought were going to come but didn't. The Sobers were there and Junika and Dwayne were there. Meridith wasn't able to but she is planning on coming next week. 
     We taught a less active this week named Sister Gibson. She has a great knowledge and love for the gospel still and she has a testimony that it's true. She kept telling us she doesn't know why she hasn't been to church in past lessons but this week she opened up to us and shared of the pressure of being an only member in her family. She said because she is a member and a church goer whenever she made a mistake she would receive a hard time for it and it was hard for her to bear. We were teaching about the Atonement and how the Savior knows how we feel and can help us which helped bring the spirit and as we asked inspired questions it helped her open up. Hopefully now we can help her to overcome her challenge. 
     We contacted into a great family last week. This week we had our first and second lessons with them and they have been awesome. The whole family is prepared. It's a married couple named Clarence and Nicole. They have four children. Two of them are of baptismal age and they actively participate in the lessons. They all want to be baptized together. We are super excited about them. They have a strong desire and a willingness to do what they need to to be ready. There is an energy and excitement. They just want to learn and take in all they can too. They weren't able to come to church this week but they are working hard to come next week. Nicole's sister is a member in another branch but they haven't been taught before and really want to learn more about the church. We taught them the plan of salvation in two lessons because they had another daughter pass away at birth. It was hard on their family including the older kids but as we taught them it had a familiar ring to them and it brought peace and comfort. When we pray at the end the whole family comes and kneels together and it puts a smile on your face and makes you feel so good. They are a great family and you can tell there is a lot of love between them and they are very close with each other.

Here is a little information/update on some of the people we are working with:

The Sobers - They are doing so good. Fred is preparing to receive the priesthood soon and we are working with the branch on getting them home/visiting teachers as well as callings and to be home/visiting teachers themselves. 

Sister Meridith - We came by to talk to her about the baptism and talk to her about her pathway to baptism and we found that she isn't quite ready for the date we had planned for her. She is still conflicted. She hasn't received her answer yet. She is still seeking answers. Right now she hasn't accepted a day for baptism. She doesn't know when yet. We found that she also has fears of falling back after she is baptized and she doesn't want that to happen. We are still working with her. One day when the time is right I believe she will be baptized. 

Junika - She came and she was really happy at the church. She is doing great. 

Keemar - He is a less active. We haven't been able to get ahold of and see him in forever. We planned one morning to try and go see him and as usual we prayed as we were leaving our apartment. As I prayed I felt the spirit guide my words and I prayed specifically that we would be able to find Keemar home, that he would be awake, and that we would be able to visit with him. Our prayer was answered. When we knocked on his door he answered and we were able to have a lesson with him. We found out that someone from work called him that morning at 6:00 and it woke him up. He probably would've still been asleep when we came by as he usually is if the worker hadn't of called him. I know this was the hand of the Lord. 

Patrick - He hasn't been to church in a while but he has been reading and praying. He is willing to let us come and teach him but I don't know if he is really working towards baptism. We may be dropping him but for now we are continuing to meet with him.   

Juanita - We saw her yesterday and we shared about the first part of the restoration and coming closer to God and Jesus Christ. She really wants to and she still has a desire to be baptized. She wants her family to join her in the lessons. It saddens her that they haven't. When we went by the husband and kids were outside playing road tennis. I briefly talked with him after. He asked how the lesson went and I told him it was good and that his wife really wants him to join and invited him to sit in the next lesson and he said he would. Hopefully he does. We want to have a family home evening with their family to bring the family and the gospel together. We went by earlier in the week on evening to schedule when we could visit and we started talking with them both and I played a little road tennis with the kids and I think it helped to soften the husbands heart and helped him to see that we are normal people. The whole family is into sports (which is cool :) ) and we found that the husband is really into ping pong and we talked with him about going a playing some ping pong with him and his family all together and sharing a message after. He was interested in doing that. 

Chedrian - She is home and this week on Saturday she said she was coming to the Broadcast. We were looking out for her and were sad when we didn't see her there. We haven't gotten a hold of her yet to find out why. 

Sister Jones - We finally got to have our first lesson with her yesterday and it went well. We contacted her a long time ago but haven't been able to teach her. She has been reading a lot from the book of mormon and she says that she feels like she can't put in down when she reads it. We taught about the book of mormon and she said that as we read and taught she felt this warm feeling. She is already recognizing the spirit which is cool. We invited her to be baptized and she said she would. She wants to come one of these Sundays to church. 

I'm going to try to get more photos of them all this week and send them to you. 

I love you all!!

Elder King
Some food we had this week. Elder Tye made some good looking burgers and a salad with potatoes. The salad I had was the way I have it back home and it was really good. This is Dwayne. He came to the District Conference Broadcast this week. He really enjoyed it and one of the stories about an investigator's growing testimony and conversion touched him. He has been starting to progress and has been to church several times.


Letter and Pictures - Week 76

Dear family,

This week I want to share about the Baptism and Confirmation of Thelma and Fred. The baptism was the most wonderful experience. They were so happy and were so ready for this step. They brought their family. Thelma had her brother and sister there and Fred had his daughter Thania there who has been to church a couple times. They absolutely loved it. Sister Meridith also came. She told me that as she was watching the baptism that she wanted to jump in there herself. She was very happy too. Soon it will be her turn. There was an outpouring of the spirit there. It was so strong. The talks were great. Sister Fuller played a beautiful musical arrangement before the baptism and tears came to my eyes as I was thinking about Thelma and Fred. I thought about where they have come and where they will be in the eternities. Elder Tye baptized Thelma and I baptized Fred. What President Herrington has been telling us is really true that in the ordinances the power of Godliness is manifest. At this service I felt that power of the spirit uplift, strengthen, and purify my spirit. What really topped off the service was the powerful testimonies given. Thelma and Fred gave the most beautiful testimonies. Fred spoke of his whole hearted commitment to keep his covenants, follow the Savior, and endure all the way to the end. Thelma spoke of her conversion and of the obstacles she overcame. Other members and even Thelma's brother gave a testimony. Elder Tye and I also bore our testimonies and I started to cry from the joy, happiness, and love I felt for them. It was a glorious day. For the confirmation we switched and Elder Tye gave Fred the Gift of the Holy Ghost and I gave it to Thelma. In the blessing was spoken that they would be able to share this gospel and bring many souls unto Christ including their family. Thelma's brother and sister were already given Book of Mormon's and they had been reading them and the baptism gave them the desire to want to read it more. It was a happy weekend and it was beautiful to see a husband and wife be baptized together. The next step is the temple!

Sister Meridith is doing really well. She has been reading and praying a lot. She hasn't received her answer yet but I believe her attendance at the baptism strengthened her testimony that has been growing and may have even answered her prayers. We will talk to her more about it tomorrow when we have our lesson with her. She really felt at the baptism like going in herself. She had something on Sunday that she wasn't able to come to church but she will be there next Sunday. She will be baptized just now. 

Junika is doing great too. We found out her name is spelled Junika not Jennika. Her baptism is solid for the 29 of January. We taught the plan of salvation and Elder Tye made some cutouts for her that were really good so she could visualize the plan and it helped her a lot. She liked it. 

We were finally able to see Shervon, who is the one who knows some members in another branch and she is looking for a church, and she is great. We had an awesome first lesson. She has good values and beliefs and she really liked that we weren't forcing the gospel on her but inviting her to come and see for herself of what the gospel can do for her and her family. I believe she is planning on coming to church this Sunday. We finally were able to find Chedrian home. She got back on New Years and she was going to come to church but she woke up at 11:30 half way through church. She will come next week. Her mother is still in the states. Her grandmother isn't doing to well but it was good that she was able to go and see her. We saw Juanita. She is really great. Her husband isn't really interested right now. Her kids are nice though. She is all about the family and is looking for a church for her family to go to. She is wanting to come this Sunday. Hopefully we will have a lot at church this Sunday. We had a guy named Dwayne come to church who we've taught once. He stopped us one night and he was really interested to know what we believe. He came to the lesson and to church all dressed up in his white shirt and tie. He made some great comments at church. From it you can tell that he is really smart and is knowledgable about the bible. He is also close to the spirit. He is cool. 

We had zone conference this week. They changed it back so we have a zone conference every transfer so President will be making his rounds to every island every transfer. They are also switching the missionary daily schedule soon when they have another worldwide missionary broadcast. That's exciting. We are also having a district conference this week. It will be a broadcast from Salt Lake and one of the members of the first presidency will be presiding. I'm very excited for that. 

It has been a most wonderful week. Miracles do happen and they are happening. Our area is doing really good right now. There are a lot of great people that have a lot of potential. Missionary work is fun! The gospel is great! I love it!

I love you all!!!

With great love,
Elder King
Thelma and Fred Sobers on the baptismal day! :) We love them!
The great Barbados Zone at Zone Conference! Don't we look great?! :)
Road Tennis! I got to play with some with the children. They are good!! It's a fun game.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Letter and Pictures - Week 75

Dear Family!

This week has been a good week. We had a lesson with Sister Meridith again and we taught the word of wisdom. She said earlier that she struggled with drinking tea but when we invited her to live the word of wisdom she was so willing and ready to give it up right then and throw out the tea she had left in the home. She was happy to do it. It was just like when we taught Thelma and Fred. It was a miracle. The bigger one was that in another lesson with her where we brought Thelma and Fred was that she fully committed herself to come to church and this week she came! She loved it too. She is also coming to the baptism on Saturday and has been progressing really well.

Everything is all set for the baptism on Saturday and we are so excited for it and for them! They are doing great and are so ready. They love their Savior and have been following Him so fully in their lives. They are exceptional. I can't wait for in a years time when they are sealed together for time and all eternity in the Holy Temple.

We have also been working a lot with Khalil who is a less active becoming fully active. We have been applying the training we've been learning in the mission with him. We visit him most days, we teach using tons of scriptures, and we cover a single point or two in the lesson for the whole lesson. I like doing it a lot and it's really helped me improve my teaching skills in applying the counsel. Our lessons are way better. We also been applying it with others and it's good.

We've been able to see Jenikka a couple times too and she is very smart for her age. She is understanding the things we are teaching and beleives them too. Her prayers are beautiful. She has a pure and sweet spirit too. She loves everybody and loves when we come over. It's a joy to teach her.

We've been able to visit Patrick lately. He commited to come to church but something came up and he didn't come. He also hasn't been reading. We talked to him about it and connected it really well with what we had taught and he understood more of the importance of reading and he committed to read more. As far as baptism he has been baptized before and he is kinda stuck there with that. He is praying though for answers and he said he would be baptized if he knew it were true. He is still willing to meet so we will keep working with him and teaching him.

This week we contacted a sweet family. I know we were led to them. For some reason a while back I had been feeling we should contact down Eversely Rd (The road that Thelma and Fred lives on). So Elder Tye and I did. Nothing really came from it the first or the second time contacting down that street. It's a long street with many homes. We kept feeling we should contact that street. That's when we came across LaShawna. It was great to contact into her but still we felt we should contact it more. So Thursday night we had an appointment fall through at 8:00pm which was close by Eversley Rd. We started making calls but nothing was working. We felt we should just contact for the last hour (which is called miracle hour) so we did. We dicided to start at the other end of the road near Thelma and Fred. As we were walking down at the beginning of the street I was about to pass the first house but as I looked at it I stopped and we went and knocked on the door. Going up to the home I noticed a car sticker on the back that said Live, Laugh, Love or something like that. I leaned over to Elder Tye and said this is going to be a prepared home. He was confused at how I knew that but I felt it would be. Well we contacted into a family. They've been married for 10 years and have 5 children all between 10-16. The mother's name is Juanita. We haven't really met the husband yet. We have our appointment with them tomorrow. She was interested in the book of mormon and excited to read it. She has been looking for a church to go to. She is very family oriented and wants to come with her family. She has Sunday's off and she has a car to take everyone. She also lives right next to Thelma and Fred and knows them. It was like the perfect situation and we left the contact feeling so good. We knew we had been led and we knew that's where we needed to have been to share the gospel with them.

I love doing missionary work. I know it's the Lord's work. I love this gospel. I know it's true. I love you all with all of my heart!

Elder King

This is Sister Meridith! She is such a delight.

We went bowling last P-Day and it was a blast! Everyone loved it. It isn't usually open on mondays but this week we had our P-Day on Wednesday so we were able to make it work. I stated off terrible but I fixed how I was throwing the ball and I got into a good grove. I was able to get a couple spares and then a turkey with three strikes in a row. It was great fun.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Letter and Pictures - Week 74

Dear Family,

     Sorry about the skype session. I wish I was feeling better. I was good at the beginning but gradually it hit me and I started feeling worse and worse. Even though my sick face didn't show it I was really happy to see and talk to you all. The sickness started to hit me Christmas morning. I slowly started getting ready but wasn't feeling good. I rested before church and felt a little better so I made it to the one hour of sacrament mtg and I felt good for that but after I started feeling sick again and then went hope to rest some more. After that hour of sleep I felt way better and we went to the Spauldings to skype. We had a great lunch and a good time with their family. I started getting the shivers while Elder Tye was skyping before me so I used a blanket to warm up. I still felt decent but as you know my battery ran low during the skype. We then went to the mission home with all the missionaries for a dinner and such and I slept in the mean time. I ended up throwing up my lunch... :( but after I felt much better again. It was like a rollercoaster for me of ups and downs. When we got home I was so ready to hit the hay for a good nights sleep. I was out of commission all of Monday. My fever grew from 100 to 102. I took medicine and slept all day. Suprisingly I was still able to sleep good too that night. I felt terrible on Monday though. It was a rough day but I started to feel a little better in the evening. After a good nights sleep I was good as new. I was able to work all of Tuesday and I still feel pretty good today. I wouldn't say I'm at 100% but I'm doing good. I definitely won't push myself too hard and get sick again cause I wouldn't like that. 
     The day of Christmas Eve we did caroling most of the day. It was so fun but it was heartwarming to see the impact that it had when we went and sang to some of the members who needed it. They were so happy and all their faces lit up. I love Christmas. I love doing good. I love seeing others happy. 
     It was great to hear of all the good times you had  on Christmas. It was touching to hear of the selfless, kind, and thoughtful gifts that were given. It is awesome. I wish I was there for it. Oh and I also with I was there for some mounds and mints :)
     With transfers we are both staying! Yay! I'm excited to serve with Elder Tye again. I'm happy that he gets to be here for the baptism of Thelma and Fred and they are too. We've been working with an lady named Meridith. She is a sweet old lady with a good heart. She attends a methodist church but since we've been coming(and she usually doesn't allow those of other faiths into her home to teach her) she feels torn between the two because she likes what she feels and what she is learning. She is a lot like Thelma where she was torn between the two faiths and it's hard for her to leave where she's been rooted for so long. She used to work with Thelma so they know each other so we invited them to come teach her with us. Thelma and Fred have come once before to her and are coming again tonight. They are good fellowshippers for her. She is reading and is praying hard to know what is the right thing for her to do which is great. The one big struggling though has been helping her to come to church. We invited Thelma and Fred to be the ones tonight to invite Meridith to church and so we are hoping that will help her. We think though there is a bigger reason or concern under the surface for not coming that we will have to help her work through. She did commit to coming to Thelma and Fred's baptism! That was great. I hope she does. I think she will be baptized.
    Thelma and Fred came to church. It was an act of faith that she came because she had a lot of christmas cooking to do and so she got up at 3:00am to get it done in time. Jennika came again with S. Cadet. We are going to see her today. We are going to set a date for her on Jan 28 so she can be baptized with another member's 8 year old daughter. 
     Enrico didn't come. He went with a close friend who invited him to another church which he promised them to go to. He has been struggling because he has a lot of stresses. We are doing all we can for him.
     It has been a good week though. There are a lot of good things happening. It's a wonderful time of the year. I love you all! Christ lives and loves us!

Elder King
This is Sister Cadet and Jennika.
This is Christmas at the Spauldings :)