Sunday, March 26, 2017

Letter and Pictures - Week 86

Dear family,

     This week has been good. We started teaching a mother of three named Lorraine this week and she has been progressing really fast. She already seems like a member. We can see her being the water soon. She came to church this week and loved it. She accepted baptism and she wants to make sure she is baptized by proper authority. She is praying about it. She was contacted before by Elder Tye and Elder Whipple who gave her a book of mormon but they weren't able to start teaching her and lost contact maybe due to transfers. She was actually looking for her book of mormon the day before we contacted back into her. I am very grateful the Lord led us to her and has been preparing her to receive the restored gospel with all her heart.  We are happy for this blessing and opportunity to teach her. She has begun her studying with the gospel tracks and the book of mormon making sure to complete the assignments we had given her. She is doing a lot of serious reflection and pondering to know if this is true and what God wants her to do. She also came to church this week! It was so exciting to walk in and see her already there early and waiting :) She loved church. I asked which part was her favorite and she was like, "all of them!" She considers us her Angels and knows God sent us to her. She has been reading in the bible a lot and had questions but has found answers already from the book of mormon. It's incredible how God is working so much with her and how the spirit is aiding, guiding, and blessing her. She has a pure heart and such great faith.
     Saturday we had the service project of painting at the Prison Fellowship Building. It was fun to do a little work and serve. We also attended the sister's baptism for a lady named Paula. Her daughter was recently baptized and she followed in her footsteps. Elder Anderson performed the baptismal interview for it. We waited outside while the interview took place and we didn't think to lock the bikes since we were outside right there by them but we went back inside to do the paperwork and forgot about the bikes. One of the sisters had a thought to look outside and was shocked to see a little boy running off with her bike. They ran outside and ran after the boy and fortunately recovered the bike. It was crazy haha I found after that my bike had a flat and we were far from our area and the sister were near their apartment so I rode the pretty sister's bike back to our area and for the day haha We switched back later and fixed back up my bike. 
     So this week we had transfers! We received a call from the Assistants yesterday and we were both excited with anticipation to know what was going to happen. I was thinking I was going to be leaving since I've been here for 6 months. They told us that we will be staying together for another transfer! I'm excited to continue serving with Elder Anderson. It's been a great transfer and we are looking to make it another great one. Plus it means I get to continue teaching Lorraine and help her to enter into the waters of baptism!
     Well that's all for this week. Until next time. I love you all very much! 
Elder King

Today we played ball for our P-Day activity :) It was fun! This is Lorraine and her most adorable daughter Alex! Alex got some cake from the Releif Society Anniversary cake they had at church and was stuffing her face full of cake haha super cute Don't they just look like they are already members? This is a photo of Alisean after a lesson. For a finding activity each Wednesday night we go ball at the court we went to for p-day and Alisean plays there. He is in a league and that's where they have practice and pick up games.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Letter and Pictures - Week 85

Dear Family,

Life is great in the service of the Lord! I would like to share about Sister Jones and how she is doing after baptism. She has told us that she has felt even more peace and been more calm since she has received the gift of the Holy Ghost. The gift has truly blessed her and you can tell the fruits of it in her life. She understands even more now in lessons than she did before. She detailed in her responses and comments. Her testimony and commitment is solid as she tells us that she is not leaving this church for she has found the truth. She had an experience where someone was bashing on the church and she defended it. She simply told them what they were saying about the church was not true and that they should seek to understand and find out for themselves what the church is all about and what we really teach. She attended the baptism for the Spaulding's daughter this weekend and church as well. None of our investigators came to church this week. With our area some of the current investigators we've been teaching for awhile have stopped progressing after many efforts to help them so we are moving on and have found some great new people to teach. We found one named Juliette who had been taught before and now is ready to work towards baptism. She has cleaned up her life and has been looking for the truth. She has built up a habit of studying from the bible and has read through it several times recently and now is starting to go through the book of Mormon. She accepted baptism. We also found and taught Asa who accepted baptism and has been reading from the book of Mormon daily. In setting up an appointment with him we asked him if we could come by on Wednesday and he said no that's too far away so we set it for sooner. He has opposition from his mother but he is overcoming it because he has such a strong desire to follow Chirst. We found a lady named Nefloya a few weeks back and this week we were able to come and teach her husband Travis. He had been taught a lot, studied, and came to church several years back. He really wants to come closer to christ and he opened up to us and we were able to answer some of his questions he has had. We also found a lady named Lorraine who was given a book of mormon by Elder Whipple and Elder Tye but they weren't able to ever come teach her. She was looking for her book of mormon and found it the day before we came into contact with her. We are going to see her on Wednesday. We gave her a Family track with the proclamation on the family and she loved it. With some of these new investigators they have plans on coming to church. We hope and pray they do. I love you all! I leave my testimony that no matter what happens to us, what challenges we have, what life throws at us, or what anyone says that this church is true! This gospel is true! God is our Father! Jesus is the Christ! They love us! With faith and trust in our Savior things become better! The Spirit whispers this is true! Again I love you!

Elder King
P.S. - We do not know Asa's father. He doesn't live with him. His mother isn't too thrilled about us teaching him and is not interested herself but she said it was up to Asa and this is really what Asa wants in his life. Fred helped in the teaching process some for Sister Jones. It is better for a member to perform the baptism because when the missionaries leave there is still a connection for the convert with the member. The Sobers were recently baptized too and are in the gospel principles class with Sister Jones. Plus it is a great blessing for Fred to have that experience. I thought it was awesome! Renee is making preparations for her to move in. Some Rasta's might believe in Chirst and others not at all. Basically everyone has there own beliefs out here regardless of what religion and then attend what ever church or claim a certain belief if that makes sense. If they believe in a religion they might now follow or believe everything that is taught. It's a little weird and doesn't make a lot of sense. It's like saying I'm LDS but I don't believe in Temples. Structure and standards here are out the window. People do whatever they want.
Elder Anderson and I

Nice picture at the coast

We got a new bike and were given the spare bike as well so now we are riding again!

Service for Brother Brewster! We used some spray to kill some tall grass.
Some great food with the Elders! A cheesesteak sandwich with bacon, chicken and jalapeno pizza, nice caramel shake :) 

Sister Jones' Baptism photo and the Christ Church Branch building

Elder Anderson fell asleep :) Junika holding a teddy bear. Elder Anderson barring on a bike with Elvis (member) haha


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Letter Home - Week 84

Hey family,

This week we prepped Sister Jones for baptism. She passed her interview and was baptized and confirmed this week. The service was a spiritual highlight for me this week. It was simple and beautiful. I could really feel the spirit there. I gave the little talk on baptism. The coolest part was that Fred Sobers was the one who baptized Sister Jones. He did a great job. He said it was an honor to do it. Sister Jones is doing great and is happy. We were able to teach Asa this week who is the 14 year old boy that I believe I mentioned earlier. We gave him the book of mormon and now he is already on chapter 13. He keeps it under his pillow and reads every night. He has such a strong belief in Christ and such a great desire to follow him. He believes that God sent us in answer to his prayers. He accepted to be baptized. Heavenly Father has prepared Asa's heart to accept the gospel at this time in his life from all the family challenges and experiences he has had that have led him to pray hard and desire this so much right now in his life. He thinks of us like two Angels that God has sent to him. It's amazing to see and a great blessing to be able to share the gospel with him. Fred also gave his first lesson in Priesthood class. It was a lesson on the talk given in Conference by Elder Renlund on repentance. It was a really spiritual lesson and he did a great job. It's been a good week though no one came to church. We did everything we could yet it was to no avail. Here is an up to date with how all our investigators are doing:

Sister Jones: BAPTIZED!

Renee: He hasn't been to church yet though he keeps telling us that he is coming. He has been making big steps though with the word of wisdom. He still has challenges but he is making good progress. He is reading and praying and believes what we are teaching him is the truth. His wife is going to be moving in shortly. He is making arrangements for her to come. 

Patrick: He has really been studying and praying to know if the gospel is true. We promised him that if he would come to church he would receive his answer and he didn't come this week. Maybe he'll come another week but we think he is having a hard time with the idea of leaving his church. It would be difficult because he has teaching responsibilities at his church. Most reasons he gives of why he doesn't come is because of his church responsibilities. 

Juanita: She was going to come to church but she got up too late to come. We weren't able to see her this week. She has had a busy week with work. She is still reading. 

Meredith: We've had a few lessons with her and we found that she doesn't want to be baptized right now. She feels she isn't ready and she isn't willing at all to tell us why. She doesn't want to talk about it. We found that Andre doesn't really have that big of a problem with her being baptized but he just wants her to make sure she is ready before. She hasn't been to church for several weeks. She said she is coming next week though and is still reading in the book of mormon. She did say that before she makes this step she really wants to know that this is the right decision. So I think the challenge is a mix between repentance and testimony. 

Sobers: They are doing just great! They are coordinating to when the time comes to go to the temple with another Mother and Daughter that were recently baptized. 

Junika: We are continuing to reteach the missionary discussions with her. She is super smart and remembers it all. She is always so happy and her and her mom were at church this Sunday. We are going to have an FHE tonight with them. 

Keemar: A less active who started to read his scriptures more. He works a lot which makes it tough for him to come to church. Right now is a stressful time in his life. 

Ulanda: She had something come up so we couldn't teach her this week and she didn't come to church. She has been a couple times to church and is starting to make progress. 

Ziggy: He is a friend of Enrico and is 20. He has taken an interest in the book of mormon. He believes what we are teaching him  is true yet he finding it hard to exercise his faith and keep his commitments. 

Asa: The 14 year old we recently started teaching. His mother is a Rasta and doesn't believe at all in Christ but his grandmother does and took him to church growing up. He believes very much in God and Christ and wants to change his life and start going to and serving in church. He accepted baptism and is reading a lot in the book of mormon. 

Alisean: We started playing basketball with young adults in our area on wednesday nights with encouragement given by President Herrington and we found that Alisean plays at the court where we went to go play. It opened him up more to us. We had a lesson on the plan of salvation and it was great. He was intrigued by what we taught and learned so much. He accepts the things we teach him. 

Grants: We were finally able to see them and had a good lesson to help them get back on track for baptism. They want to be baptized together and they know this is what they need to do. They are praying to know a date to work towards.

Chedrian: We keep trying but we haven't been able to teach her. She is pretty busy. 

John, Simon, and Nadecia: Simon is John's father and Nadecia is John's girlfriend. We recently started to teach them and though a little doubtful they are wanting to learn more and fully understand our message. Nadecia has more potential. She is more believing and accepting. 

These are the people we are working with right now. Well I gotta go. I love you all!! Choose the right and you'll be blessed! Test it! It works! The gospel is true!

Elder King

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Letter Home - Week 83

Dear family,

     It's been a good week! We had our zone conference this week and Elder Gonzales of the Seventy and his wife came. It was an uplifting and spiritual mtg. All the other English Islands skyped in to the mtg. and were able to comment and participate in the mtg. Elder Gonzales also held a member and friends devotional in the evening. Thelma gave the opening prayer at the devotional. The devotional went over the similar topic as in the zone conference which was on member missionary work. There is a big focus on building up the kingdom of God and establishing the church. There was a big focus on baptism. He also gave some tips and counsel on always opening your mouth to share the gospel which is so vitally important. One of the tips that stuck out to me was that of building common ground with those we teach and talk to. That means to find something in common with the person and then teach to help them grow instead of finding things that are different first which can make them put up walls against the message we are sharing. So like if someone were to say when initially contacting them No I'm not interested I've already got my own church you would say that's great we believe in going to church too! From there you might say though we believe that God has restored his one true church on the earth today and go on from there. It works great! There was a lot more to the conference than I can write but more important than what was said was the spirit felt there and what the spirit spoke to each person there. In the mtg. through thoughts and feelings that came to me I recognized my utter dependance upon the Godhead for help. We need them for everything. They are there for us and do so much more for us than we realize. I am truly grateful for how intertwined they are in the details of my life in teaching me, in guiding me, and in helping me to find peace and joy in this life and eternal life in the next. I love them!

     Sister Jones is looking all set for baptism this weekend. We are going over the final preparations with her. We had invited her to read a chapter in Alma and she ended up reading the first  40 chapters. Since the first time teaching her she says she always feels a peace and a calm whenever we come over and recognized the Holy Ghost. She is faithfully living all the commandments and told us she's been Mormon for years with how she has been living her life. She and ourselves are looking forward to her baptism this week. Ulanda who is a less active came to church again this week. We've been bringing Bro. Sampson to teach her and they get along great. He is a great help to her. We found a youth named Asa this week who we will be seeing tonight who is just awesome! When we contacted him he was so interested and when we followed up with him he has been reading and was excited to tell us about how he read about Joseph Smith and how an angel appeared to him and showed him some gold plates. We are excited to go and teach him. There was also the counsel given to find and teach the youth and young single adults and I know the Lord has prepared this young man's heart and placed him in our path. The Lord is doing his work. It's amazing and miraclulous to witness and be a part of everyday. Fred passed the sacrament this week for the first time. He did so good. He also received an assignment to teach priesthood next week. He accepted it willingly. The Sobers also applied the counsel from the devotional in addition to finding people for the missionaries to teach to also feeding the missionaries and made us a Sunday lunch which we were very grateful for. It was a treat. :) They made chicken, rice, veggies, and mac pie! 

     I will give a more in depth update on all the people we are teaching and how they are doing next week. Things are going great though! :)

     I know this gospel is true! I love it! I love you all!

Elder King