Medellin

Medellin

Monday, August 14, 2017

Doors



Dear everyone,

Doors have always been figurative opportunities. For missionaries, they present the opportunity to teach the Gospel to a new family. They also offer much unscertainty, as opportunities often do. After spending a lot of time contacting this week, I can tell you that sometimes, doors can be downright frightening, and the people inside moreso. But if we don't look for opportunities actively, we often miss out. That is one of the great fears of a missionary. Not finding the ones who are ready. Unfortunately, we didn't find anybody that was ready this week.

Not much to report this time around. Felipe is still doing well, he is reading a lot. He didn't wake up to come to church which made us a bit sad, but he does live about an hour away. Ediverto turned forty and went on vacation, so he didn't come either. We didn't find many new people that were interested and the ones we found last week didn't seem to find time for our message.

Despite descouragement, I have learned that faith is the key to moving forward. Faith and hope I guess. On top of that, I have been studying charity lately. Many of the talks this week were also on charity. Charity, I have learned, is important because it is the qualifying characteristic of God and His Son. We can't hope to live in their presence unless we have done our best efforts to develop said attribute. It won't work. That is why without Charity we are nothing. Because our whole purpose here is to become like him, and charity is the way we show that we have put forward that effort.

Keep on loving,

Élder King

ps I wrote late today because we went on an excursion to see/climb a big rock. 

La Piedra del Peñol
me on top of said rock (lots of stairs)

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Plot Thickens

Dear everyone,

Walking hurts if you do it a lot. Just in case you didn't know. Although I guess that's true for almost everything. Ediverto decided he needs some more time to get prepped and we agreed. He is working towards being baptized on the 2nd of September. But we have a surprise baptism that fell out of the sky and gave us a welcome smack on the head. His name is Andres Felipe and he lives with a member family. I met him a while back, but thought he was just a less active member! He has been coming to church for the past couple of weeks and we figured out that he was actually investigating the church. So we visited him yesterday and he asked us when he could get baptized. Why aren't all investigaters like this? He had it all thought out, he even knows who he wants to baptize him! He's a bit sad because he can't go on a mission because he has a year-old son. We will be stopping by a lot this week to make sure he knows what he needs to know and does what he needs to do, but the desire is there and that is all we need to make this happen. He will be baptized on the 26th of this month, if not sooner. We are super excited for him.

On the only downside, we need more investigaters and have spent most of the week knocking doors and running up and down hills to find them. It's been taxing but hopefully the fruits show up this week. We met a nice man who has an adoptive disabled daughter. We will be meeting with him tonight. His relationship with his daughter is super sweet and it makes me kind of melt when I see it. It's good to know that there are still good people in the world.

Love you all,

Élder King

Monday, July 31, 2017

Work as Usual

Dear Everyone,

Another week has gone and not a whole lot of news. But the news that I have is all good news. We were talking with Ediverto and my companion asked him how old he was. He said,"I'm 39, but I'm going to be 40 soon" 
"When's your birthday?" 
"The 12th of August" 
"That's a Saturday right?" 
"yes"
"Would you like to get baptized for your birthday?"
"sounds good, I want to be ready though"
"Don't worry, we'll worry about that"
We're going to work really hard with him to make sure he makes it. We found and taught a lot of new pèople this week, hopefully they keep wanting to listen. Chatted for an hour with a Jehovah's Witness that. Made me sad how closed-off people can be. But we found various families and couples that are already married and just need to learn and accept the restored gospel. I'm excited to continue working this week.

We did the first layer of paint on the old house and will probably be finishing it up this week. José blessed the sacrament again this week. Angela and her daughter are doing great, already working on personal progress and family history. My companion and I are doing fine, he's a funny little guy. We went and played soccer today and I'm kind of beat.

July is over. I'm glad for those of you who are enjoying your summer. I'll see you soon enough. The church is more than true, it is divinely directed and sustained. Us missionaries are protected by the prayers of each of you. I thank you so much for everything you have done for me. We have a bright future if we just hang in there and do our best. Keep moving forward. The speed of your progress depends on the will of the Lord and the amount of effort you put in. Remember Repentance. It is my firm testimony that sacrificing bad habits and routines brings blessings.

I love you all,

Élder King
Elder Herrera


Nate saw Deseret on the label

Treats compliments of Dad-for working hard!



Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Baptisms and Transfers

Dear everyone,

Ana Maria's baptism went off without a hitch! We're so happy to see the conversion of this family. They have been giving us tons of references, including a guy named Jorge. Jorge has had a really, really hard life, but he has been able to turn it around and make his life a faith filled one. He has read the Bible 7 times cover to cover, so we're pretty sure he'll blow through the Book of Mormon we gave him. Hopefully he will be a baptism in this next month. We also contacted the guy that sold us the washer and turns out he is married! So we talked with him, his wife and son and they were very interested. With a lot of work this month will turn out very fruitful.

Elder Steadman got transferred, but he is still here in Medellin, so he didn't have far to go. My new companion is Elder Herrera. I met him when I was serving in Planeta Rica. He has got about a year in here in the mission. He is from Lima Peru. He will be my last companion unless something really crazy happens.

I read this quote from Harold B. Lee this week: "The most important of all the commandments of God is that one that you're having the most difficulty keeping today." It struck me that it is in that way that the atonement is so completely personal. There is no rating scale for the graveness of a sin, only graded difficulty in the repentance process. So whatever seems the hardest sin to let go, that's the most important one for each of us, because it is that sin that will keep us from progressing if we don't bring the power of Christ's Atonement into our lives.

I'd like to share a scripture I found a while back, I feel like it goes along with the theme. It helped me to get over some difficulties.
17 And again, he that trembleth under my power shall be made strong, and shall bring forth fruits of praise and wisdom, according to the revelations and truths which I have given you.
18 And again, he that is overcome and bringeth not forth fruits, even according to this pattern, is not of me.
Keep on perservering, keep on studying and everything will work together for your good.

Love you all,

Élder King

Monday, July 17, 2017

Warm Water

Dear everyone,

We managed to get two baptisms this week! Party in Prado!!! It was a struggle and for a bit there we were worried that they weren't going to make it. But they passed their interviews, the word organized a nice little meeting and we had a great ceremony. Everything went off without a hitch. They are both super committed to their decision and this week, Ana Maria will be following them into the water. We are very happy for them.

I had the privelege of performing Angela's Baptismal ordinance. The water was cold, but I have never felt warmer. I could feel the spirit permeating the room as these two children of God made their first covenant with him. I felt a bittersweet nostalgia, knowing that I don't have much time left to serve these people, but I felt so happy for them having made it here. I'm sure the Lord is pleased with their progress.

This is the last week of the transfer and it's most likely that Elder Steadman leaves this next week. It's been great and we are going to work super hard this week to find some new investigaters.

In other news, we baught a washing machine!! We exchanged our old fridge and some piggy bank money for a washer, a commodity that I haven't had since I got here. Saving pays off!

Stay strong,

Love
Élder King

Yohan Alexis Jaramillo Vargas and Angela Maria Agudelo


Steven


some pictures of the baptism, Washers, and Steven, Angela and Yohan's kid

Monday, July 10, 2017

Service

Dear Everyone,

More fun facts about Colombia: nobody accepts service. The members never ask us to do anything for them. We have to insist physically just to wash the dishes after lunch. Me and my companion will just get up and start washing and some of the sisters will get mad! I guess there is a saying that if someone cleans in the kitchen, they don't ever come back, so maybe that has something to do with it. But we got a desperate call from the zoneleaders begging us to go and help with a move. We were with the other missionaries in the district on exchanges, so all four of us went. It was fun, but it took a lot longer than I thought it would and we kind of wasted the exchange. It was pretty fun to finally do some service. They had me do most of the heavy work just because I'm the biggest. And while flattering that they think I'm so strong, it kind of wiped me out. My forearms are still sore. But I like service pains. They are the best pains.

Johanne and Angela want to get baptized this week. We talked about extending the date a bit so that Ana Maria could get caught up, but Angela said she really really wants to get baptized this week, so yeah. This week is going to be a rush to get all that done. Ana Maria also wants to get baptized but says she is fine waiting until she is prepared. But it shouldn't be too long of a wait. We found a few new people this week, including Santiago, a member's boyfriend. He has gone to another church most of his life, but stopped going there a year or so ago. He was very interested about the message of the restoration and we are very interested to tell him about it. 
Also, last week we also spoke with Anyela and Sebastion, a couple that heard about the church from coworkers. We taught them about Joseph Smith and asked them if they wanted to know it was true. Sebastion looked me in the eye and said, "are you telling me this is true?" And I was taken a bit aback, thinking he would just say "yeah, I'd love to know it's true. How can I?" That's how things usually go. Thankfully, we were prepared for such a question. I said simply "yes, this is the truth". He just sat back and let out a sigh of relief. Anyela also just said, "I believe it". They really through us for a loop! They started asking questions about baptism and sins (they live together). We told them they would have to get married and would need to learn a bit more, but that we would be happy to teach them. Now, as happy as this story is, there is a little cloud of sadness. They don't live in our area... But either way, makes me happy to see people of such faith.

To finish up, I just want you all to know that this is the truth. I am not so foolish as to spend two years preaching something I don't know is true. There is no message more powerful than that of the restoration of the Gospel. God has spoken and He continues speaking. If you have faith and live righteously, you can hear His voice and know that He is! What message could be better?

Keep up the good work, I love you all!

Élder King

Monday, July 3, 2017

Lots of Party

Dear everyone,

I don't know if I have yet mentioned, but Colombia has a lot of holidays. I think the second most of any country in the world. There are approximately two per month. Today is the last of three mondays that were holidays. On top of that, everyone got a July bonus and are spending like crazy. More than anything, it's somewhat frustrating because a lot of our investigaters went out of town. But no matter, the family is still going pretty strong. Ana Maria came to church for the first time and it seemed like she enjoyed it a lot. She is Angela's daughter and is already progressing quite well in the Book of Mormon. We have taught most of the commandments and they have accepted to live them. I'm pretty sure that they will get baptized on the fifteenth, but possibly just a titch later.

Life is as crazy as ever, yet this week seemed to go really slow. We haven't been able to find many new people to teach this week but hopefully in the next couple days we will find some that are willing to listen to us. I met my first atheist here in Colombia. It was kind of sad to talk with him, but at the same time really funny. He just doesn't really understand much of anything. But oh well, we know what we believe and why we do so. I also felt bad because he talked like he was afraid we weren't going to like him or that we would think badly of him because of his beliefs. We made it very clear that despite our difference of opinion, we had no intention of treating him like he was less.

Keep on being good people, be nice to everyone and remember that charity is really just love unfeigned. Love God and love your neighbor.

Love you all,

Èlder King