Monday, July 24, 2017

Letter and Pictures - Week 104

Hey everyone!

     It's been a great final week here in Grenada. I can't believe it has already been two years since leaving home. It's been a wonderful adventure. We were able to talk to Clarrissa seriously about baptism this week. It was really wonderful  and amazing because the spirit has been working on her and she was pondering about it before we came. We read the account of the Savior's baptism and Mosiah 18 and talked with her about baptism. We had given her 3 Nephi 27 and she had been reflecting a lot on the part which says that Christ's church will be called after His name and how this church is called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She had been thinking about the date we had given her before and she asked us when the next baptismal service will be. We set a date for her for the 19th of Aug. She has been studying and got past 2 Nephi and she came to church this Sunday. Her children were helping out with her brother who has been having health issues. 
     We were able to address some of Natasia's concerns/doubts and also talk about repentance. She has had a conflict with one of her family members attacking her(not physically) for a long time and it's something that has weighed down on her. As we talked about repentance she opened up about it without great detail and we were able to help her to fast about it. This Sunday we had a mission wide fast for our investigators and we fasted for her and she fasted to. She was really happy when she told me that she fasted. Hopefully she can receive revelation on how to resolve it or receive blessings from the Lord of her behalf. The mission wide fast was  a really spiritual experience for us. The mission just had 10 baptisms this Saturdayand one of them was Kelvin in Barbados!! I was told he bore a sweet testimony as well. Natasia has just on fire lately and had really been progressing. You can just see the light growing within her and her faith and testimony building. She came to church as well. We are going to try to set a baptismal date with her tonight. Since she is off of teaching school she has a lot more time and has just been eating up the scriptures. She read all of the Pearl of Great Price including Joseph Smith History and is now into Jacob in the Book of Mormon. It is helping her a lot. I have a testimony that reading the Book of Mormon reaps such great blessings into our lives. 
     Each of us went on a trade off with Elder Johnson this week and they were really good. We were able to teach Ravon who I mentioned before and he is just awesome. He had read some and we read more with him. We invited him to be baptized and he was super quick to respond in a positive yes. His parents wouldn't allow him to go to church but hopefully their hearts will soften.          We've been working a lot with Alicia and her boyfriend Jeremy hasn't really been participating but this week we were able to just have a lesson with him and he really softened up and is now taking the lessons. It is such a blessing and a miracle. Something amazing that happened was that on one of the days we had scheduled to see them we couldn't go because we were held back but without even letting her know Sister Francis went over to her home and just talked with her for an hour in our stead. It was amazing to hear. She is so awesome. They didn't come to church because Alicia is sick. 
     We visited with Rachel and Aldon this week. Rachel surprised us when she said she prayed and received an answer that she knows it's true and that she needs to make some changes. We invited her to be baptized and she accepted. Rachel had a family member pass and couldn't come to church. We've been working a lot with Bro. Kelvin and he is growing as a recent convert. He passed the sacrament this week and he was just so happy and he is really grateful to be a member of this church. The Alexis family had a late night Saturday with their mom coming in so they didn't come to church and Fitzroy said he was coming but didn't come sadly. 
     After some service for one of the Elders investigator we went into Grenville town during a really busy time and and set up a stand with a bunch of Book of Mormons and pamplets and just started talking to everyone. It was a really big success. We gave away a ton of material and found many wonderful people. It was fun. This was my last Sunday and I gave my "farewell" talk along with Elder Kuru. It's tough to say goodbye to these such great people. The spirit was very powerful and I was in tears. I'm very grateful to have gotten the opportunity to serve here. I hope you have a great week. I'll see you soon :)

With great love,

Elder King

Final Sunday in the Caribbean!!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Letter Home - Week 103

Hey everyone!

     It's been a good week from Zone Conference to service to Emergency Transfers....
     On Monday evening we were able to visit a new young couple named Sabrina and Kel along with her 18 year old sister Kayla. We taught them the message of the restoration. There was a really good spirit there. They are Seventh Day Adventists. As we taught they internalized what we were telling them and what it means. You could tell that they were really thinking about what we were sharing. At the end Sabrina said a really sincere prayer to know if this is the truth. They are a cool family. I hope the Elders have success in teaching them when I leave. 
     We went down to St. George's for Zone Conference on Tuesday. It was awesome. There was a really great spirit there. This is a really good zone that we are in. Everyone is working super hard and there are a lot of great successes happening. I learn a lot from all the other missionaries. They are such great people. 
     Well there was an Emergency Transfer in the mission so a lot of the islands were effected and missionaries were transferred to different areas. Elder Hendricks got transferred to my old area in Barbados so on Wednesday we took him down to the airport and you'll never guess who we picked up....Elder Kuru. It was sad for us all to say goodbye to Elder Hendricks so unexpectedly though I'm glad Elder Kuru was the one coming here. He always wanted to serve in Grenville. 
     We were able to have Alicia at church again this week. We've been teaching her the commandments like the Law of Chastity and Word of Wisdom and she is striving to live them. She wants to work things out with Jeremy so they can get married. That may take time. She committed to live them and she knows they are commandments from God. We saw Rosemarie's family on Thursday too. Rosemarie is out of the country. We read 3 Nephi 11 with her children. They've started reading in the Book of Mormon. We also had two of her children, Jodina and Jonia, come to church. They came and walked all the way to church. They enjoyed the service and really liked the Hymns. They are going to come with others of their family next week. We met their older brother Jamal this week and shared with him the Book of Mormon and he feels strongly that he needs to read the book. He seems really cool. 
     Natasia has been progressing well. With our lesson with her you can just tell that her faith and testimony has been growing. She is noticing it too. We watched another general conference address that was really good for Natasia and what she needed to hear. We found a few concerns and are going to address them the next lesson. She had something with family and wasn't able to come to church this week.
     We met Ravon, a 14 year old boy, a few weeks ago and we met him again at his dad's sewing shop this week. He began studying and we were talking with him about what he read. He asked us if Joseph Smith was really a prophet and told him that he  was. He believed us and you could tell that it was sinking in. We invited him to give away some tracks to his friends that were there and he not only gave them to them but started teaching them about Joseph Smith and the restoration. It was really awesome. He lives in the other Elders area and they started teaching him.
     We did some service for Fitzroy again helping him out in his garden and then we helped the Elders with building a house for one of their investigators. We did some more sport contacting too and we went to a nearby court to play some ball with the local youth. It was good. We were able to talk with a few of them after and maybe we will start teaching them. 
     We did finally get to teach Clarissa's  family. We read with them in the Book of Mormon because it had to be a short lesson. They've been doing good. A lot has been happening in their life right now. They are helping her brother out that has some health challenges. They weren't able to come to church because of it. 
     Rachel/Aldon were dressed and ready for church but their ride flaked on them and they weren't able to come. We had a lesson with them last night and read a little from the Book of Mormon. They are going to try to find another ride. Fitzroy also didn't come to church. He let some excuses get in the way. We talked with him and helped him understand that it's important to come to church. We've been teaching him a lot about the gospel and repentance. He's been recognizing the Holy Ghost more which is good. 
    It's been a good week! I love you all! Only one more of these emails! Crazy! I'm going to miss being a missionary so much! I know this gospel is true and I'm so grateful for the opportunity it's been to share it!

Elder King

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Letter and Pictures - Week 102

So this week we were able to work a lot with Alicia and Natasia. We've been taking Sis. Francis over with us to Alicia and she is such a good member missionary. She helps out so much. We were able to teach her the GoJC and start into some of the commandments. We were able to set a date for baptism with her for the 26th of Aug. This week she came to church and loved it. She is going to keep coming. She is praying a lot and studying a lot still. She is a lot happier already. She is growing in the gospel and it's so cool to see. We taught Natasia the GoJC and found some concerns with testimony so we came back and watched President Monson's address on gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon. The spirit was really strong in that lesson. She has been praying a lot to know the truth but hasn't received an answer. We had been teaching her that God would answer her by the Holy Ghost through good feelings and thoughts but she didn't fully grasp it. This last lesson we were able to help her connect how God had answered her before and she finally understood. It was awesome. We had Bro. Branch and Bro. Lennox there and they were able to bear solid testimonies and at the end Natasia bore her own testimony of the things she new to be true and how she has noticed so many blessings in her life since meeting with us. She said she is more outgoing because she was shy before. She wouldn't pray out loud in groups. She would get really nervous. Now she is comfortable with it. She is way more calm. She doesn't get as stressed or angry. With the hectic time at the end of the school year she was able to get through it a lot easier. One of the biggest is how happy Ronella is. At church when Ronella drew the picture and showed it to her it made her fee really fulfilled as a mother. Ronella loves going to church and reminds her mom about it when it's time to go. It was great to hear all of her wonderful experiences. She still has challenges with Joseph Smith being the prophet so we are going to address that next lesson. She too came to church and this time was able to be on time for the sacrament. This Sunday was a miracle! It was a record in sacrament attendance in Grenville. We had 27 there. Many members came and many investigators came too. There was still quite a few that we thought would be there that didn't come this week. In addition to having Alicia and Natasia there we had Rachel and Aldon come with their boy Jaheem. They all loved it. Rachel liked Sunday school. Jaheem liked the music. Aldon liked a story in sunday school about the early saints. Clarissa's family were all in St. George's this week so we weren't able to see them but we talked with Clarissa Sunday. They weren't able to make it to church. She is going into the hospital for some knee problems that she's been having. We did get to see Chris this week and read with him in the Book of Mormon. It was good and uplifting for him. Fitzroy came again at the end of church. Elder Schmidt talked with him and set a date for baptism with him for the 12 of Aug.  It's been an awesome week. I love you all! I'll see you all in two years.  I mean weeks!!! So excited! :)

Elder King

1. We went to do some service for Fitzroy and we picked so mangos for breakfast. We do it by taking the fallen mangos and tossing them into the tree to knock off the ripe mangos and then catching them :)
2. Rachel, Aldon, Jaheem, and their baby.
3. Jaheem drew a picture at church. 
4. Photo of everyone at church! :) Alicia is the one with the baby above me. Her two kids are the one she is holding and the one in the orange shirt. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Letter Home - Week 101

     This week we were able to work a lot with Alicia. We brought Sis. Francis to teach the restoration to her and she bore powerful testimony and told of her conversion story which was perfect for Alicia. She gave her a lot of encouragement too. She believed we were teaching her the truth and knew that God sent us to her. She gave an awesome prayer at the end. We also taught her part of the plan of salvation and it was new to her so she accepted to pray about it. In addition to her prayers, on her own she went into extensive study to find out if we really did live in Heaven before. She read a lot in Genesis, read the pamphlet, studied the versus in the back, and even found more of her own that gave evidence of the pre earth life. She said as she was studying that she felt like she was receiving her own personal revelation to her questions. It was awesome. She had a big page of notes. She committed to come to church but she got nervous that morning and backed down. She wasn't quite feeling ready but she committed for next week. A lot of our investigators backed down or had some other excuse of why they couldn't come which was sad. 
     We did have Natasia come. She has been doing well. We taught her about the Law of Chastity. She already knew exactly what it was since we gave her a pamphlet a while back. We knew it would be a challenge. She has a boy friend that currently lives with her. She doesn't feel ready for marriage but has a complication with moving out that we don't know exactly what it is. She is praying and counseling with God to know what she needs to do so she can live it. She really wants to live it. She also has been struggling with testimony and receiving her answers but she keeps getting a feeling to read more from the Book of Mormon so that's what she is doing. She is already into second Nephi. 
     We had the Charity event this week. We were in communication with the group each day before the event and even up to a few hours before to make sure everything was good but last minute the group backed down and ended up not showing up. It was disappointing. We had everything planned and set up perfect for it. What happened was that the guys in the group backed down first and said they weren't coming which later made it so the rest didn't want to come for some reason. It was tough. Rhondah felt really bad about it all. What we decided to do was to present it to the institute class that started after. It ended up being really really good and the spirit was really strong there. Maybe someone in the institute group really needed to hear what we shared or something. I still had a lot of fun doing it. 
     We were able to help Bro. Kelvin bless the sacrament for his first time this week. He did a great job and was so happy afterwards. He got up and bore a wonderful testimony after as well. Clarissa's family didn't come this week to church. They went to visit her brother instead. I don't know exactly why but we have a lesson planned for Tuesday and we'll talk to them about it. It doesn't sound like a good reason for not coming to church. They did however all come to a family night that we had at the church this week. We played a game called Big Budda and everyone was laughing and having a good time. Christilynn told us that she has completely given up coffee and doesn't even have a desire to drink it anymore. Clarissa told us that Chris is struggling because of a disappointment in not getting a job. Please keep him in your prayers. Rosemarie's family didn't seem like they even tried to come but gave a lot of different excuses. We weren't able to teach them this week. What was good was that Fitzroy showed up for the second hour of church. That was a good step for him. 
Have a great week everyone!

Elder King

P.S. - Hey do you all remember Kelvin from in Barbados? This is what he sent me back in June:
"I am a little confuse and indecisive about my baptism and to be honest I want to do it sooner rather than later but I am feeling like I am not 100% sure as I was feeling last week. I prayed about it but not hearing any thing. I dont know any more."

This is what I sent to him:
"As I was thinking about you and your decision to be baptized and what I could share with you to uplift and encourage you my thoughts turned to Doctrine and Covenants section 6. I would strongly encourage you to prayerfully study this section of scripture. I believe it will bring you peace comfort and assurance. I read it yesterday and I feel it will be meaningful to you. Some others that you would like are Acts 2:37-42, Mosiah 18:10-11, Omni 1:26. After your studies say another prayer and prayerfully make a decision of what you feel is right and then stick to it. I promise this will give you clarity and strength. I'm praying for you! Thanks for writing. It's great to hear from you."

This is what Kelvin sent to me this week:
"I want to thank you so much that now I am really ready to be baptized and I set a date. Thank so much for everything you did for me. Wish you were here for the baptism."

Bro. Kelvin is going to be getting baptized!!! I'm not sure what the date is for but I'm stoked for him!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Letter and Pictures - Week 100

Hey everybody!!! 

I can't believe I'm already at week 100!! The mission really does fly by. I can't comprehend the thought of going home. It feels like the mission is all I've ever known. This week has been pretty great. We've been able to find some very prepared people to teach. Alicia is one of those and she has already begun progressing. She's read through chapter 5 and when we came back to follow up was reading more. She accepted baptism and told us what she needs to do to prepare herself. Before we were led to her she was praying for help because she was going through some difficult challenges. She asked God to send her something or someone to help her have more of a good spirit in her life. We had prayed that morning to be led to someone who was prepared to be baptized or something to that extent. She was in tears and full of emotion when we contacted her. When we came back she was prepared for a lesson and she took a bunch of notes and had questions written down for us. She is awesome. We've also been able to have some good lessons this week. We talked to Clarissa's family about keeping the Sabbath day holy and this Sunday the whole family came (Clarissa, Christibelle, Chris, and Christilynn). It was awesome. There were 17 at church this week and Clarissa's family was the only investigators we had there. We have a lesson planned for Natasia for tonight. We weren't able to teach her this week. She's been reading more. She wasn't able to come to church because things got hectic for her that morning and she was tied up with time. Denice was sick so we couldn't have a lesson this week and he wasn't able to come to church. Fitzroy's family wasn't able to come to church but they've been reading from the book of mormon. He was having challenges one day and we were able to come and have a lesson with him that day and helped him feel better and to feel the spirit. It was cool. Elder Schmidt's training is going good. We do it everyday. When we go proselyting he's been contacting, starting lessons, extending baptismal invitations and just doing great at it. We also had a really sweet plan of salvation lesson with Rosemarie and a lot of her children. There were about 6 or 7 of them there. We did a walkthrough going in and out of the house going through each point in the plan and sharing verses at each part. Inside the house was pre mortal life and outside was earth life. The porch was the spirit world and you were resurrected and judged as you went through the doorway. We used the light, a flashlight, and a match to represent the degrees of glory. It was really awesome and it helped them understand the plan so much and after Elder Schmidt invited them all to be baptized. None of them have yet and they want to. They all committed to pray about it and a date to be baptized on. They've started reading and have started having family prayer. Things are going great. Lots of love.

Elder King

Rosemarie is an investigator along with all of her children who are between the ages of 9 and 28. The Mills are the senior couple here on Grenada. Kimisha dropped us actually a while ago but I haven't been able to write about her. She never had any lessons. We went by and she wanted to give us back the books. We tried to understand why she didn't want to meet but she wouldn't tell us. So we respected what she wanted and stopped dropping by to visit her. We let her keep the books and invited her to keep reading. One day she meet with other missionaries. It was disappointing but it's just not her time. Nandy is super hard to get a hold of because she doesn't answer her phone and she leaves to work really early. We did pass by once and catch her home just before she left for work and gave her a plan of salvation track which really interested her because she wants to know more about after this life. The boy's family is Aldon and Rachel. The boys name is Jaheim. The family with the priesthood story are currently being taught by the other missionaries and it's going pretty good. 

The tropical storm wasn't bad. It rained a lot and a bit of wind. The worst part was that our water shut off for the day. We had a big container stored to prepare for the storm but threw the dirt from sweeping into it not thinking and contaminated it. (I won't name names haha) We were fine though. We still went proselyting and were fine. It was just like a normal day. There was no damage. The river got super full from all the rain but everything was fine. Elder Gummow is serving in Barbados so maybe when I go there for my last day I will see him. Yes definitely find out my topic for my talk so I can prepare a good one because 3 days isn't very long to prepare. Those smores sound awesome! I can't believe Jake is already leaving!! Crazy!

1 - Kimisha
2 - Clarissa's family all at church!!! (Clarissa, Christilynn, Chris, Christibelle, and Christina)
3 - Sister Francis a long time member
4 - Us Elders at church with Sister Neary and Sister Jasien
5 - All the missionaries at the bbq pday activity

The river before the storm and then during the storm. The beauty of Grenada. Sister Roma fed us some awesome lunch!