Sunday, June 25, 2017

Letter and Pictures - Week 99

Hey family,

     Isn't it crazy that I've been out for 99 weeks?!?! And crazier that I will be home in 5 weeks?! It all feel so surreal to me. I've loved my mission so much. I've loved this week with our newest companion. I'm going to love these last few weeks as much as I can by serving my hardest! 
     We weren't able to email yesterday due to the email shops being closed because of the tropical storm passing through. There has been a ton of rain today and it's still raining pretty hard right now. We had a really good first week with our new companion Elder Schmidt. He is from Duncan, Canada. He is the youngest of 5 children. He has 3 brothers and 1 sister. He is 18. He graduated early from school and went to a year of school at BYU. He loves music. He likes to write and sing. He was in a boy band, did tap dancing and was in his school plays. He is already a really great missionary too. He teaches well, he works hard, and a strong testimony with great personal experiences to share. It has a brought a great added spirit to our companionship and we did a lot of great work this week. 
     We saw a lady named Ms. Moore a few times. She didn't read the assigned chapters we left her so we read with her and the next time she read on her own. She liked it. As we then taught about the pre-earth life from the scriptures she understood and wondered why she had never heard of these things before and it puzzled her.  I think she will continue to progress and study from the book of mormon to learn more. She is a sweet older lady who loves to talk. She is really funny. 
     We saw Clarissa's family several times. We taught the word of wisdom and they all committed to live it. When we came back the next time to see how they were doing we found that chris has been working on hit and been able to stay away from drinking and places where he might be influenced by others. We found that Clarissa and Christilynn were both living it. Christilynn loves her coffee but she gave it up. She has noticed tons of blessings in her life from it. Her coworkers keep asking her where did the old christilynn go? She is really happy and progressing really well. She is also studying a lot too. Clarissa noticed a great blessing in her life that she had been praying for too. She was so happy she almost gave us a call just to let us know. There was a lot of rain on Sunday which unfortunately kept them back from coming to church. We also had a family home evening with them. We taught about obedience and then played a game called splash where someone picks a topic like fruit and then if someone else guesses the fruit they are thinking of they get splashed with a little water. They really enjoyed it. We made them cookies and they made us food. I enjoyed that trade :)
     We started teaching this young couple who are married named Roberta and Fitzroy. They have a beautiful 2 year old daughter. They've been married for a couple years. We had a great restoration lesson where we were all able to teach in really great unity to help him really understand it. It was like a light went off for him and a huge smile came on his face. You could tell that he was feeling the spirit and we helped him to recognize it. Then he prayed to know the truth. He loves when we come by and is always really happy to see us. We came back to do some service for them and did some cutlas work. Fitzroy climbed up a coconut tree and got us some coconuts. He sells coconuts for work and also catches crabs on the side. After though they didn't have much they went out of their way to feed us. It touched my heart to see. They are awesome and very humble/teachable people. Roberta is pretty shy and quiet and has a good heart. Fitzroy is a pretty slow reader but he really wants to learn. 
     We've also been teaching this younger boy named Zion who is 14. We went and played some basketball with him and then taught him some more from the book of mormon. He has been doing a lot of the assigned readings we've been giving him. He likes it. He hasn't accepted to come to church yet but hopefully one of these days he will. 
     We had an awesome family home evening with Rosemarie and her big family of 8 children. We sand and read from 1 Nephi. Rosemarie was able to read and pray with the group this time. She usually tries to pass it off onto her children but this time she did it. We then played a fun game that got everyone excited. We played two truths and a lie and whoever guess the lie got a candy. They all had a good time. 
     We saw Natasia towards the end of the week. She came to church on Sunday. We helped her understand better the restoration and it brought forward some awesome sincere questions. She said the most wonderful prayer at the end for Heavenly Father to hear and answer her prayers that she may know if this is the true church. She really wants to know and I think she will receive her answer soon. 
     We did some hometeaching to Sis. Angelic and taught her nonmember husband Denice as well who actually came to church this week. I had never met him but he was really interested and we set an appointment to come back and teach his whole family. It was really cool. For the lesson we read Elder Hollands last talk and talked about the church. He said he would come again to church next week. 
     The charity event got moved to the 29th of this month so cross your fingers that that is the actual day it happens. It should be. To involve Elder Schmidt we are going to have him do a musical number. With the new church building we took some measurements of both buildings and drew out a birds eye view model and gave it to the Branch President for him to send it off to the facilities manager in the area for approval. The process takes about a month. Hopefully they approve it and we can get the building.
     I'll tell a cool story that happened last week. While I was out with Elder Hendricks in his area proselyting went to visit this one family. We taught the father(Derek) and his son(Alex). We read from 2 Nephi 32 and then I felt prompted to invite them to be baptized. We did and it was really powerful. The spirit was pretty strong. Derek had been baptized before and we taught him about the proper authority. He asked how can I know who holds the proper authority. We then had to move our car real quick for someone and then we came back. When we came back Derek's daughter came and stood behind them in the doorway. (We were teaching them on the front porch. Elder Hendricks saw her before and since she had been a part of the lesson invited her and Alex to be baptized. She said no. When we asked why not all of a sudden she just fell backwards, flipped over a little coffee table, and landed hard on the floor with her head and back. It shocked and scared us. The father picked her up but she was unconscious. We offered to give a priesthood blessing. After the blessing we said a prayer and then left. Since it was late at night we came back in the morning to check on her to see how she was doing. That morning very early at 5:00am (we got up at 4:30am) we had some service of harvesting melons for another one of their investigators that we taught together. It was a lot of fun and they gave us some melons to take home that were really good. We harvested a whole big truck load. So we then went and checked on the daughter. We talked to the mother and found that shortly after we left that night that the daughter woke up and she was fine. She went to school that morning. We don't know what caused it but we feel it may have been a way for God to show Derek the power of the proper priesthood which was his question that he had asked earlier. It reminds me of Alma 22. haha :)
     After playing basketball on P-Day we went and helped the Mills move apartments. They moved to such a nice place with such a beautiful view. While we were there Elder Schmidt hit his head on a low part of the roof outside on the balcony and cut his head open about an inch long but not very deep so we went to the hospital got it all stitched up and he is doing fine now. He got 3 stitches. It was on the top of his head so they had to shave a circle around the cut to do the stitching. He didn't like that. It was a rough first pday in the mission. The training has been going really good. We've been doing a lot of roleplays and it feels like he's been on his mission for over a year. I am learning a lot from him. A lot of the roleplays we've done have helped us in our lessons that we end up teaching. It really has been a great week full of a lot of good things. I'm excited for this transfer. 
     Coming on my mission has strengthened my testimony of the truth. First and foremost I know our Heavenly Father loves us. He really cares. His love is perfect. He always remembers and never forgets us. I know we are His children. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to return to live with Him. He wants us to be a part of His forever family. I know Jesus Christ performed the Atonement. It was accomplished because of the divine love of the Father and the Son. I know through obedience to our covenants we can find great peace and happiness. I know as we follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost to come unto Christ we can be led through the tests and trials of this life safely back to our Heavenly home to dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. This is my greatest desire for me and my family and for us all. I know missionary work is the Lord's work. We are his hands. We are blessed and strengthened as we take part in this great work. I know Jesus Christ has restored the fullness of his gospel through his servant and chosen prophet Joseph Smith in these last days into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This church is true. It's teachings are the truth. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. Jesus is the Christ. This is my testimony. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen. I love you all!

Elder King

Harvesting melons and Elder Johnson in the hospital

Said goodbye to Raskita Taylor. He is awesome! Picked up Elder Schmidt from the airport. This is Fitzroy/Roberta and their daughter.

Zion, Natasia, Ronella, and Bro. Lennox.

Bro. Branch and Ronella drew a picture at church. 

Elder Schmidt's wound and the view from the Mills' new apartment.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Letter Home - Week 98

Dear Family,

This week has been great! We were able to work a lot with Clarissa and her family. We actually were able to start teaching another one of her older daughters named Christilynn and she has taken the gospel to heart. She loves it all and is so interested. She told us she has already started to see changes in her life after just one lesson. They weren't able to make it to church this week. Our charity event got pushed back to this coming week. Elder Johnson was sick for the week so we worked in our area and traded off to work in their area too. This young boy stopped us and led us to his family and we found out that they were taught before but lost contact with the missionaries and are so excited for us to come and teach them. It's a big family and they all are interested. We got our transfer calls. Elder Mikolyski and I are going to stay for my last transfer but we will be training a new missionary coming in named Elder Smitt. I'm excited about this coming transfer and the opportunity to train with Elder Mikolyski. I'll write more about this week next week but I have to go. I love you all!

Elder King

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Letter and Pictures - Week 97

This transfer has been flying by too fast! It's been another good week though. This week we were able to visit with Bro. Kelvin several times. He was recently baptized but had missed church the past few weeks. This week he was able to come and receive the priesthood. We weren't able to get anyone else to take the long drive down to St. George's this week to church. All the strong, active members came and the bus was full taking the drive down for church. It was great to go down to the branch because I was able to see a lot of the great members I knew before. I don't think I've mentioned this yet but we've been planning out this event with a local charity group to have a gospel presentation about the Restoration. It's a great local charity of outstanding people who volunteer to give back to the community and they do a lot. It is going to be really great. I'm really looking forward to it this week on Thursday. We had contacted into this lady named Rhondah who is a part of the charity group and she asked if we could speak to the group so of course we gladly said yes! It's about 40 people. We are going to involve the others Elders from here in Grenville and the senior couple the Mills to help with the presentation. It's going to be sweet. We saw Clarissa and her family a couple of times and they are progressing really well. They've been studying all together as a family and they are seeing some great blessings come into their lives. We shared the plan of salvation and read in the book of mormon. They are learning  a lot of new things. We saw Natasia as well and she too has seen many blessing since she has been learning about the gospel. We were also able to give her a priesthood blessing. She had been feeling sick and really stressed out about personal challenges but after the blessing she felt a great peace and it all went away. We also made some more cookies but this time for our investigators. That was fun. We took some more time to look for a church building this week too. We said a prayer and we were led straight to a really great building that's perfect that we are going to check out with the members this week. Things are going well here in paradise! :) I love you all!

Elder King

Clarissa, Chris, Chrissy, and the little daughter that goes by Kaylee. This is where we like to play a lot of dominos :) it's so fun

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Letter and Pictures - Week 96

Dear Family,

     This week was great. We started it off by making cookies for all the members. That was a fun service and they all enjoyed them. Service is a joy!
     We started teaching this wonderful family. Clarissa is the mother. Chris is her 24 year old son and Christibelle or (Chrissy) is her 25 year old daughter. We taught them about the restoration and it was such a powerful lesson. We followed up with how their studies were going and found that Clarissa was on Ch. 6 in the book of mormon and Chris had read all of the introduction and testimonies plus a chapter or two. Chris was in awe by it. He said the testimonies were so powerful and it began his testimony and he felt it was true. Clarissa also read the restoration pamphlet we left her and when she was reading about Joseph Smith and the First Vision when Jesus Christ told him that none of the churches were true it really hit her and she was struck with amazement and immediately went and knelt and prayed to know for herself. She believes it is true. As she was relating her story to us I felt the spirit really strongly. It was amazing. Chris used to attend church but fell away for awhile. His whole family is so surprised but happy that he is so into the gospel and coming back to church. He has read and loved three of the pamphlets we've given him and watched the restoration video with his mom. As we were talking about the Holy Ghost during a lesson he said he has felt it before several times since we've started teaching him and he knows it's true. For him it's just about accepting it and changing his life. The gospel has given him a lot of hope. He hasn't missed a day of praying since we've started to teach him. They are so prepared. They all came last week to church and this week to a family night and then Clarissa and Chris came to church this week. We aren't sure why Chrissy didn't come this time. They love the church and the gospel. Clarissa and Chris already knows the gospel is true. Chrissy really wants to know for herself. They love the book of mormon and study it often. We are going to see them tonight and hopefully set a date for baptism with them. 
     We also saw Natasia who came across some anti mormon literature and had questions about it. She researched both the negative and the positive things about the church and it spurred her to really want to dive into the book of mormon and find out for herself if it is true. Even despite an obstacle she is continuing to press forward in faith. It's a good sign.  She also came to church again with her daughter. 
     Kimisha had been having a hard time getting herself to pray to know the truth but we taught her about covenants and making promises with God and as we kept following up with her and inviting her she finally did. She hasn't received her answer yet but will keep praying to know. She is now past ch. 8 and has read several pamphlets. 
     It's been a blessed week and it sounds like you all had a wonderful week too! Lots of great things happened. Graduation, wedding, farewell. I'm so happy for Kaylee! It's an exciting time. Well I love you all very much! This gospel is true! Jesus Christ is our Savior, our Redeemer, our Master! I love Him!

Elder King

Service! I love cookies! :)

We found some cool planes in our area and decided to take some photos :)