Medellin

Medellin

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

Monday, June 26, 2017

Moving Buddies

Dear everyone,

So, this week got pretty hectic what with the move and all. We had to figure out how to plan around deliveries and lunches along with teaching appointments and exchanges. It went fast and now we are just trying to get everything organized so we can work in our area better. We have been losing a lot of time to errands and while important, I definitely enjoy teaching and finding than moving furniture and other such nonsense. I guess I'm just doing my part to leave the area better than I found it (thank you outdoor code).

We had six investigaters come to church yesterday, and three of them were people we had never met before. The members are being a lot better about inviting their friends. The only sad part is that most of them live in other areas so we won't get to teach them. What are the odds honestly? We have a massive area. Johanne came but for some reason Angela didn't. Either way we keep teaching them both and they are both going pretty strong. I'm more worried about Johanne because he hasn't been reading as much and he seems a bit more hesitant about baptism. But hopefully all will turn out well. 

Ediverto came to church again. We met him last week when he came to church out of the blue. He is also very excited and we will be talking with him today about a baptismal date. We went up again to visit Luz Dari and she was happy to see us. We haven't been able to pass by for a few weeks now. She says she has been reading and that she wants to take some time out of her schedule to go to church. We talked about eternal families and she really liked that. She said it made more sense than what all the other churches teach. On our way home from where she lives, some guy offered us a ride. We jumped on because there were two of us and just one of him in case he tried anything funny and we were tired on top of that. His name was Efrain (spanish for Ephraim) and he is a Catholic Priest. It was nice to meet a catholic that lives their religion. He was a nice guy.

Just read the 63rd section of Doctrine and Covenants and I really like it. 64 was great too. If you haven't cracked the ol' D&C open in a while, read those sections. Also for those counting 63/7 = 9. Enough said.

Love you all,

Èlder King

Monday, June 19, 2017

Sleepless Nights

Dear everyone,

So this week has been pretty crazy. We have had to run all over the place, making tons of calls and just doing a lot of errands in general. My companion has had a hard time sleeping lately, so we went to the clinic to see if we could get him fixed up. I feel really bad for him because sleepless nights are the worst. On top of that, we are going to be moving tomorrow, and we have to fill out tons of forms, tons of calls for permission, planning a talent show etc. It gets kind of tedious, but we are almost done with all  of that stuff and it will then just be figuring out how to manage our time in a massive area.

Our investigaters are doing great, we took them to see a baptism and they seem pretty excited about their own preparation. Angela has already gotten to Jacob and keeps reading like a champ. This family is seriously awesome. They got to church on their own as well. We had a lot of other investigaters come to church, including one guy that just kind of showed up and accepted missionary lessons. We are going to teach him tomorrow. Unfortunately Gustavo still hasn't been able to make it. Most of the investigaters from the new area didn't come, but hopefully we will be able to fix that this week. Oh, I gave a talk as well. The talent show was kind of lame but that's what happens when nobody wants to take responsibility for the project.

Anyway, Happy Father's Day dad! It is a national holiday here so nobody goes to work. Me and Elder Steadman went and bought about ten pounds of cereal this morning and we found some applejuice too! We are basically making our house a constant gringo party. So that's the good news for this week. Our recent converts are doing well, Jose got the priesthood this week. I hope you are all doing well!

Love you all,

Élder King
Elder Steadman, Elder Jesus, and Elder Meza

Elder Robison and Me

Monday, June 12, 2017

Prado Times Two

Dear everyone,

The transfers were quite interesting this time around. Me and Elder Steadman are staying together, but we have a new area! Prado 1 got closed and we are going to take all of the Prado ward now. Our area is massive to say the least. But I'm super happy to still be with Elder Steadman, even though we are all alone now. We will most likely be changing residence this week so that will be interesting.

One of the families we found last week now has a baptismal date. These are the ones that my companion found that had already heard the missionaries before. We visited  them three times this week, they have already begun reading the Book of Mormon and most of them came to church this week! Their names are Johanne and Angela (the parents) with Ana Maria and Steven (the kids) Ana Maria didn't come for some reason, but she will come next week for sure. They have a date for the 15 of July and if all goes well, they should be our next baptism. We also have taken over all the investigaters that Prado1 had so we will be getting to know them in this week. It's going to be a crazy week for us and I think this last stretch is going to fly by.

Love you all,

Élder King

Monday, June 5, 2017

Diligence and Hope

Dear Everyone,

This week we were blessed with many opportunities to find new investigaters, something we need a lot. As of yet, there aren't any that are progressing, but our recent converts are still going strong.

We have been doing a zone contacting effort recently. We go to each area and just contact a ton of people for two hours. We did it in our area this last thursday. My companion with another missionary found an old investigater that basically said he wants to be baptized. We went back and talked to him yesterday. Him and his girlfriend both received us very cordially and asked us how many times in a week they could visit with us. We responded, "why, as many as you like!" So we will be meeting with them this next tuesday, friday, and sunday most likely. They still have their pamphlets and Book of Mormon from when they were listening to the missionaries before. I guess one of the missionaries just decided he didn´t like them and stopped coming. Kind of sad, but great that we fouind them again.

So we are going to be working hard this week and keeping our hopes high. One thing that is sometimes difficult to remember is that unless we are giving our full effort, it´s not enough. That's where diligence comes into play. Diligence is the attribute that makes us qualified for divine grace in our everyday actions. It can be difficult but it will definitely be worth it. Sometimes the burden doesn't feel so light as promised, but compared to the burden that we justly should have, I would gladly take the yoke of Christ.

Love you all,

Élder King

Monday, May 29, 2017

Weddings and Baptisms

Dear everyone,

We were blessed with a wedding and two baptisms this week. The wedding went off without a hitch, which was the most surprising. It was somewhat stressful trying to organize it all, but we were able to involve most everyone. The Bishop baptized Jose and the new Stake president baptized Deidi. I was glad to have the ceremony over, just because of all the stress involved in organizing it. But for the first time in a long time, the ward was able to see how a baptismal service should be and I hope that in the future, we will be able to do it in a more organized fashion.

So as we left the wedding, I noticed there were a lot of people in the lobby. I heard them talking about something at 9:30. I assumed that they were there for the next wedding. I thought to ask them about it. But I decided not to. Then the thought was persistent. So I said a little prayer and I promised to talk to the young man (who I assumed to be the groom) if I was given the words to do so. So, the same question came to my head and I asked him. After talking to him for a bit, I found that he was to be married that day and I asked him if he would like to learn how his family could be eternal. He accepted and I'm pretty sure the missionaries have passed by his house. I'm going to verify that as soon as possible.

We also had a fun experience with Yolanda, a recent investigater. We went and talked with her and gave her a Book of Mormon. The next time we visited her, she was already in chapter 4 and said that she felt the book was true. We invited her to pray about Joseph Smith and attend church. She wasn't able to make it this week, but considering her situation it is understandable.

So yeah, Love you all,

Élder King

Monday, May 22, 2017

Insights on the Spirit

Dear everyone,

This next week, we should have some good news. We had a bit of a scare this week, because our gold family didn't make it to church. My companion called them in the second hour and he didn't really understand what they were saying. He just remembered one word "apuñalar" which means "to stab". So we were understandably worried. Turns out on the way home from work Saturday, José got stabbed in the arm by some guys that were fighting in the street. He got some stitches and he's okay now, but they were in the hospital all night and couldn't make it to church. He said he even felt prompted to take a different route home, but decided against it. So there was a lesson to be learned and they are still very decided on their baptism this Saturday.

We have been focusing a lot lately on getting help from the members, and we have seen some progress. There is still a long way to go, but I feel like we are at the beginning of a great movement here in Colombia. I just hope we can get it moving as fast as possible.

I had an experience recently. It was very interesting and insightful for me. As members of the church we are constantly striving for improvement. As we improve, we feel the spirit in greater measure in our lives. But as we sin and continue in error, our revelation channel, the spirit, cannot convey its message because we make ourselves unfit to recieve it. I felt as though I had done just that, through personal error. A wave of bitterness came over me. I felt as though despite my efforts to become better, it wasn't working and that I was confined to an annoying cycle of pride and misery. I felt as though I had been abandoned in my struggle, that because I had made a mistake, that help was no longer available to me.
 But then, as I stretched my soul to feel the spirit again to enjoy that wonderful blessing that I had, until my flaws reared their head, been a recipient, I felt the warmth of the spirit as though it were trying to reach me through a thick cloud of darkness. I realized that God was trying to get to me, trying his hardest to get me back. I felt the urgency of his love, I felt just how much he wanted to reach me, but that it had been me that had pushed him away, however unintentional it may have been. I don't know if I have ever felt that way, it's always so hard to remember that joy. I know it must be the joy of repentance. I'm still not perfect, but I know that I'm trying and God knows as well. The more I approach Him, the more I feel that he approaches me.

 Keep on chugging and don't worry about your sins. Christ took care of those. What each of us needs to worry about is how we can utilize the Grace of Christ to overcome our sins and weaknesses.

I love you all,

Elder King

Monday, May 15, 2017

Better Late Than Never

Dear everyone,

Sorry for writing late, we went grocery shopping and I forgot that it takes forever to get people moving around here. I had a great time talking with the fam yesterday, and of course it was mother's day, so once again, Love you Mom! We are going to be heading out to a family home evening with some new investigaters  tonight, so I won't have a lot of time to write.

I'm doing well, especially now that a subway just opened up close to our house. They have delivery as well. I also found a five liter orange juice and couldn't pass that up. So much better that water.

We should be having a lot of new investigaters in this next week. The ward just had a good talking to about missionary work and we will be giving talks this next week as well. Hopefully they will take it to heart and start finding references for the missionaries. Speaking of which, nows a good a time as any to talk to someone about the gospel! It's super easy, you just have to get down and do it.

Anyway, love you all,

Élder King


Monday, May 8, 2017

Almost Mother's Day

Dear Everyone,

This week dragged on a bit too long for my liking. We are still trying to figure out the area changes, we lost a lot of members and a few investigaters. On top of that, one of the members of our family for baptism didn't come to church yesterday. It was really abnormal and we don't know why yet. We'll be dropping by today to see. I'm worried about them and the other less active members that live by them. We talked to Paulina, who got baptized in Cartagena and is kind of put out. She liked the members in her old ward better. Just hearing her talk about it made me really sad. I also heard some sad news about members from my area in Armenia. I just have felt a bit heavy from all the things that are going on.

Now, I hope you all don't start thinking the wrong thing. I'm happy and I've decided to stay that way. It's a blessing that I am able to say so. I am so grateful for the many things that God does for me. It's natural to feel sad or let down when other people choose to stray. But all I can do is keep loving them and serve them with more love. I guess I'm learning to love the people here, because I feel for them and with them.

I honestly don't know how to express how I'm feeling, maybe it's the deteriorated english or just the newness of these feelings. Perhaps ambivalent? I don't know really. Anyway, I'm healthy, don't worry about that. I found some orange juice and I have been loving that. Me and Elder Steadman found some Malt O' Meal cereal and that's been great too. I'll get the call stuff figured out with Mom.

Love you all,

Elder King

Monday, May 1, 2017

Business as Usual

Dear Everyone,

Looks like me and Elder Steadman are going to be together another transfer! I'm pretty happy about it. Our district didn't have any transfers other than Elder Caicedo is going to his mission tomorrow. The limit changes are officially approved by the first presidency and our area got considerably smaller. Unfortunately Antony, the policeman from last week, isn't in our area anymore, but we get to keep the Balderama family. They will be getting baptized the 27th. We are going to have to work super hard to get new investigators this week, but the ward seems a lot more excited to work, seeing as we got multiple references this past sunday.

So I've been thinking about and studying repentance and forgiveness this week. I'm trying to learn to be more forgiving and as I do I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders. I'm still pretty terrible, like when my roommates don't wash their dishes, the neighbors play music in study time, etc. etc. The small things seem to be the most unforgivable sometimes. But if we can't forgive, we can't be forgiven either. It's the difficult reality. Repentance without forgiveness wouldn't make much sense if the great Mediator was the one not willing to forgive. He is, but we need to be like him (at least as much as we are able) in order to recieve said forgiveness. As Amulek told Zeezrom, He will not and cannot save us in our sins. I'm making the conscious effort to retain a remission of sins, and I invite you all to do the same. That is the yoke of Christ, which is easy and the burden is light.

So today we went to the Arvi Park, a cool forest in our area. It was nice to walk around the mountains again. Fresh air and no worries. I definitely want to visit again if I can. Still waiting for my package, although I'm pretty sure it's already here in Medellin. Just waiting for the office people to go pick it up..... any day now....

Love you all,

Élder King

Monday, April 24, 2017

A Special Witness

Dear Everyone,

This week was definitely interesting. Tuesday we had our interviews with President. They were short and sweet and I thank him so much for his wonderful service. We found a new family that we are teaching currently. Antony and his soon-to-be wife were contacted by my companion and another missionary last week in a park. He is a policeman, which makes it a bit difficult for him to get to church, but either way, we have a lot of hope for their progress. We had a stake conference this week as well, but I'll get back to that. (Elder Christofferson spoke at Stake Conference as well.)

As many of you may have inferred from the title, the Highlight of this week was the visit of Elder D. Todd Christofferson, my personal favorite of the apostles. I thought it was too good to be true, which was the main reason in me keeping you in the dark about it. I was afraid something would happen to impede his coming. But he came, and I don't think I'll ever be the same. His excellent ability to expound doctrine will stay with me as long as I live. He taught that the Sabbath is the time, the Temple is the place that we apart for the Lord and his work. He also explained to the missionaries the necessity of both being born and being reborn and the important role that each of us plays in this great work, which is the work of God.

His testimony alone is enough to make me sure of the actuality of the resurrection of Christ. He leads this church personally. Think about that. He actively participates in the leading of this Church. No other organization in the world has such a privilege. My testimony is now bolstered and strengthened by the testimony of this wonderful man.

I'm going to keep working hard, I hope you all do the same.

Love

Élder King

Monday, April 17, 2017

Holy Week in Medellin

Me , Elder Steadman and the couple that are going to get married on the 27th of May

Dear everyone,

So, as you all might have noticed, this last week was easter. Here in Colombia, it's a week of parties and catholicism. Thursday, Friday, and Sunday are national holidays and they are kind of crazy. We spent the last three days just going to big parks and handing out cards, pamplets, Liahonas, and whatever else we could. I don't know how successful of an activity you could consider it, but it's better than doing nothing, which was our only other option. Most of the people we found contacting earlier in the week were busy at catholic mass the last part of it. On the bright side, our wonderful family is going to set a specific date for their marriage today!Woo hoo! So we are happy for that. Also We're getting to know the members better and with any luck, we will be working a lot with them in the weeks that come.

This week we will have a multizone conference with all four zones of Medellin. So I should see Elder Robison, Elder Chipana, and Elder Morillo again, maybe even Elder Fernandez. Should be exciting. We also have a pleasant surprise this weekend, but I'll let you all know about that experience next week. It's essentially one of my dreams coming true.

Also, I'm super excited for Tate, though it looks like it will be a long time before I get to see him. He is going to the Dominican Republic. We have a missionary here that is waiting for his visa to go to the same country, though I don't think it's the same mission.

In the spirit of the season, take some time to study the Living Christ. It testifies of the reality of Christ's mission and that He lives. How great it is that because of Him, we too can live again, and if we are faithful, we can return to the presence of our Heavenly Father with Him! Never forget the great gift that Christ has given to each and every one of us.

Love,

Élder King

Monday, April 10, 2017

Happy Good Day

Dear everyone,

So we have finally gotten all the papers and errands done for the Marriage of Jose and Deidy, unfortunately it's going to take a bit longer than we thought. If we are really unlucky, they will get married and baptized after the limit changes are approved by the area and they get baptized in another ward. either way I'll be happy for them, but it would be a pity for us as missionaries. Aside from that, the work is going a bit slow here. Doesn't help I lost my voice for two days. Kind of hard to teach without talking, even harder to contact.

We are teaching english classes and we are finding a lot of new people that way, but most are just interested in learning a bit of English. Either way it's fun. There is also a little deacon in our ward who is obsessed with the missionaries. He's a funny little guy, and he follows us around for a bit after church. Also, there family that has a missionary out in Ecuador and they showed me a picture. Surprise Surprise! His companion is Elder Parker, my MTC companion. It was good to see him again after so much time. Since there are a lot of missionaries here in Medellin, we get together a lot to play soccer. I'm not very good, but I play anyway.

Anyway, Love you all,

Elder King

Monday, April 3, 2017

Last the Best of All

Dear Everyone,

How great it's been to listen to the words of our leaders this last week! I found it to be one of the most fruitful conferences of my life. It also happens to be the last conference of my mission. We got to watch most of it in English, but I stayed in the spanish session Sunday morning to be with our investigaters. At least I thought is was going to be in spanish, but someone accidentally changed it to french in the middle of Elder Clayton's talk. It was kind of funny. I found a lot of the messages spoke deeply to me and have given me extra strength to be able to keep moving forward. I've been in a bit of a slump lately. I don't know why, but things just seem more complicated here. 

Either way, our family is still going strong, we're just trying to figure out money and papers and legal stuff. The rest of our investigaters are here or there, the ward is improving on helping us do our work and retention goals are reasonable. I really hope I get to work in this area until the end of my mission.

I guess a lot of you have heard about the flooding in Mocoa and other parts of Colombia. We have been getting a lot of rain recently, but no flooding. We actually didn't have water yesterday... but that was just some pipeline construction. Slightly ironic. We are praying for the tragedies that occurred there and in Peru as well. Also one of the missionaries in my district is having some family crisis going on as well. His dad is going to have a risky surgery this wednesday, so be sure to pray for his family as well. Elder Meza is his name. We went on exchanges this last friday and got super lost. 

The approximate altitude difference between the east and west sides of my area is about 500 feet, and that is in the distance of about ten or so streets. Approximated population is around 300,000 people or more. But the limits may be changed this next week, but we still don't know much about that. My companion and I are enjoying the work a lot. It's been a long time since I worked so well with a companion and we get along great.

Love you all

Elder King

p.s. we had two meals without rice this week! new record! Also a sister gave us some Jif Peanut butter and I almost gave her a hug. I have some, but just knowing that there are people here that understand is wonderful

Monday, March 27, 2017

All Manner of Afflictions

Dear Everyone,

This week flew by. It's always kind of like this in new areas and with new companions, but even so, it seems like I got here yesterday. My area is as slanted as the coast is hot, and it's going to take some getting used to. Me and Elder Steadman are getting along swimmingly and we work well together. We have to take buses a lot and today we are going to get our metrocards to be able to ride the tram and cable cars. It was weird being in a real chapel again after so much time, and it seemed like there were a lot of people in church. None of our investigaters could make it because it was raining super hard and the terrain is a bit treacherous where they live. It rained so hard on Saturday that we couldn't leave the house, and on top of that we had to do our best to keep it from flooding.

The change in altitude, climate, and just about everything else has taken its toll, and while tired and a little under the weather, I'm still glad to be here. It's very likely we will have a family get married and most likely baptized this week and that's always exciting. Contacting is more difficult here as the people are a bit more closed off than in the coast. I'm trying to help my companion with his spanish, which I enjoy but it's really hard for me to resist the urge to just take over and do everything. God must have a lot of self control and patience to avoid doing the same with our lives.

Our mission as a whole is showing signs of improvement and I'm just glad to be part of it. I'm currently the missionary with the most time in my zone (followed closely by elder Weber) and that's a weird feeling. Other noteworthy news is that our ward boundaries are going to split the week after conference. We aren't quite sure how that will affect our area, because most of our investigaters (and our area) will be going to the other ward. Either way, the adventure keeps getting more exciting!

Love you all,

Elder King

Monday, March 20, 2017

Status Report

Dear Everyone,

I've been transferred out of Planeta Rica. I was pretty sad to go. I'm definitely going to miss the coast, hot as it may be. I'm writing you from Medellin, where I will most likely be until I see you all again. As always, the long bus rides are very tiresome. At least this time it was a little more interesting around 4 in the morning. Some delinquents threw rocks at the bus in an attempted robery and broke a hole in the front window. Talk about a jump scare! As usual, I didn't get much sleep, so I'm running on empty. 

First a bit about this last week. It was almost literally one big headache. We did exchanges on Wednesday, then I went to Montelibano to do some baptismal interviews. It is a family of five, so I had to do five interviews from 7-10 PM. I got a migraine from the stress of it all, and since we slept in the house in Montelibano, I didn't have any meds to relieve my pain. So I guess I had two sleepless nights this week. Saturday we had to go back to Montelibano to be witnesses for the baptism, and they gpt baptized in a river, so it was a cool experience, although a somewhat long drive there as well. So I think I've clocked in about 20 hours of travel time. I will sleep well tonight.

My new companion is Elder Steadman. He is from Clinton, Utah and just finished his training. I am in the Medellin Zone and my area is called Prado 2.  It's essentially a mountain side, so I expect to lose even more weight here. Here's to the hope that prayers will strengthen the feeble knees I'll have afterwards. It's a ward and the work seems to be thriving here. I'm sure it will only get better from here on out. I'm super excited to be working with someone else from the US.

I'm starting to get pumped for conference, even though it is a bit away still. Start preparing your minds and your hearts to accept the wonderful messages we will be hearing come April!

So, my camera isn't functioning correctly at the current time, so pictures will have to wait. I'll get what I can from my companion.

Love you all,

Élder King

Monday, March 13, 2017

Like Earth Right After Rain

Me, President Alonso Guzman, Maria Jose, and My companion Elder Mischa.




Dear everyone,

We had a baptism this week. Maria José got baptized yesterday morning at 7:30 AM. We spent most of our time this week scrambling to make it happen. Guess we need to plan better haha. Since we don't have a font we performed the baptism in a pool. It was pretty easy since the pool was really deep, so the water went up to her neck. I had to fix up the baptismal clothes with safety pins because it was way to big. I felt like a pretty prepared scout. Aside from that big news, not much else happened this week. Next week are transfers, we'll see what the Lord has in mind for the next couple months.

Oh, so I talked with the mission executive secretary about my release date. Looks like I'll be flying home on August 28th with another missionary from my group. We're looking at a bit over five months left that you get to enjoy my absence haha. Don't enjoy it too much...

Love you all,
Elder King



Monday, March 6, 2017

The Ides of March

Dear everyone,

I've survived twenty years of life. Thanks for remembering everyone! You're the best! Now, in about six months I might actually feel like an adult. Or maybe not, I don't know. As far as I can tell increased responsibility does not always mean increased maturity. Maturity and progess are both product of moral choices.

So, the baptisms didn't work out for this week. Next week for sure we'll have one unless a disaster happens and hopefully we can arrange the other before this transfer ends. I get the feeling I will be getting taken out of this area. Which makes me sad, because I love the members here. we had interviews this week and I remembered just how much I love president. Some trials don't end as quickly as you like, that's why "endure to the end" is a principle of the gospel.

I can't believe there is still snow, but that's probably just because I spend all day everyday sweating. We watched Moana as a zone today and I really liked it. One less movie to catch up on haha. February flew by like always and we're getting well into march. Time flies. I don't really know what more to say, but remember that Joseph Smith saw God and Christ, and subsequently restored their church. When you think about that, not much else matters. Love God, Love your neighbor just like you should Love yourself.

Love

Elder King

Monday, February 27, 2017

Difficulties

Dear everyone,

In case you were wondering, patience without diligence doesn't work out. You can be as patient as you like, but if you don't work towards a goal, you won't ever get there. Passage of time does not equal progress, but hard work and the grace of God most definitely do.

Perhaps if we work hard this week, we'll have two baptisms in the next, but there are a lot of obstacles to overcome, most of which we created ourselves. We are struggling to find new people to teach and those that we have found are reluctant to keep commitments. In spite of all these many difficulties, I don't lose hope that things will get better. That's one thing that has kept me going for a long time now. Persistance is the key to long term success, and by persistantly repenting and self evaluation, we can become even as Christ is. Hope is the greatest gift that He has given us and if we lose it or fail to recognize its value, faith turns to fear, repentance turns to rebellion, and membership in the church becomes a burden instead of a peaceful and happy contrast to worldly chaos.

I don't really have any funny stories from this week, I'm just kind of trucking through challenges right now. It's really great to have the Lord on your side, or perhaps better said, to be on his side. It makes things a bit easier to deal with.

Love you all,

Elder King

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Plan

Dear everyone,

If there is one thing I need to learn right now, it's patience.

Things are going well here. Our investigators are doing well and we had six people show up to church this week! It would have been great had our goal not been eight... Kind of sad when people say they will go but then for some reason don't. My advice for this week is keep your commitments!

Elder Falabella's visit was great. I hadn't felt so good in a while. He talked with us about the doctrine of the plan of salvation and it was really humbling. He explained just how little we do for our salvation. Christ made it possible, only in and through him can we obtain it. All he asks is that we try to be like him and we do our best to try. He asked us "how many of you are going to pay for your sins the way he did?" And the answer is none of us. We can't pay for our own sins and still get into God's kingdom. He taught us about repentance, how many of us view it as a painful process. The pain we feel as we repent is merely natural consequence for sin. Joy is the feeling that comes from repentance and it is also what changes us.

On that subject, I had a really spiritual experience in taking the sacrament yesterday. I just felt as though through my efforts my past errors had been cleaned through the atonement. However, I know that I need to continue working hard or that remission of sins won't last long.

Fun fact: there are these cool little banana things that look like half-bananas and taste like apples. They are called "manzanos" around here, but I don't know if that's their real name.

Anyway, Love you all!

Elder King