Monday, February 29, 2016

Spiritual Wookie

Portland YSA mission leaders hard at work.

Another week flew by in the service of the Springwater YSA ward in the Portland Stake in the Washington Vancouver mission.  One of the best weeks in a long while.  We casted some demons out, went on a couple exchanges and ate horribly disgusting Chinese food from the dungeons of Mordor.  You could say just another week in Portland.  I do want to start with a cool story about one of our investigators named  Tyran.  Our ward mission leader, Garrett,  is a dream come true because he wants a call every night about our next day's activities. He invites investigators over every Saturday morning for pancakes, eggs, turkey bacon and a short lesson after.  He even comes with us to teach our recent converts at Buffalo Wild Wings.  He invited our investigator, Tyran over for dinner one night.  We have been struggling to teach Tyran.  He is strong in his belief and we have respected that.  We don't push him to accept our beliefs, but we sneak in teaching opportunities quite often.  Just like this week when Garrett invited him over for dinner and a short lesson after to help us become better teachers. The lesson turned into this spiritual atomic bomb within minutes as we began to talk about the plan of salvation.  Our ward mission leader testified of the Savior and it brought us all to tears from our eyes. Tyran actually read from the BOM for the first time with us then, and up until that point he refused to touch the book.  The spirit softened his heart truly.  But the moral of the story is that the power of active members of the church at lessons is beyond what any missionary could ever do.  Okay, another cool story.  This week two twins in our ward from Idaho made us a HOME-COOKED MEAL!!!!  Only the 4th home cooked meal in like 3 months here in the YSA!!!!  They even fed me Diet Pepsi.   Which... I admit that I broke my promise and partook of.  BUT IT WAS GOOD.  The twins even told me that aspartame in diet drinks isn't even that BAD!!  I will maybe be taking sips of diet soda every now and again I suppose... Big News:  I am getting transferred :(  Bye- bye Portland.  I am being transferred across the Columbia River to the Vancouver central zone.  I have actually never been assigned in Vancouver city in my mission so far, so this will be cool.  I will be a zone leader over the Clark YSA ward in Vancouver, which is quite large and I am excited. But the Springwater YSA ward here in Portland, was my favorite ward by far.  I will miss these young single adults dearly.   Especially those whom have taken me out for some fine dining.  Bitter sweet feeling,  but excited to see the “Couve Zone” for the first time.   Also, we met with a  new less-active member we are teaching named Harrison, and he loves drawing.  He has decided to draw Elder Jewkes & I as spirit animals holding a BOM and a CTR shield running into battle against Satan’s minions.  My spirit animal is a Wookie(how fitting!) & I will be riding on the back of Elder Jewkes, who will be depicted as a Curlom (an unidentified animal in chapter 9 of Ether in the BOM).  Crazy and I can’t wait to see the finished artwork!  Anyway love you all.  Have a great week!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Temple Conundrums

Having dinner with President and Sister Ferrin

I shall begin by explaining the reasoning for this foolish subject title.  Elder Jewkes baptized a wonderful family back in his very first area and they entered the temple this past week to take out their endowments / get sealed for time and all eternity.  I joined the festivity along with a member of our ward who kindly escorted us to the temple.  This kind member possessed a V6 2001 Saturn Ion gold edition.  The wind was flowing through our veins as we zoomed on the freeway to the temple.  We arrived and I think I had one of the most spiritual experiences of all my life in the temple coupled with some of the greatest spiritual revelation I have ever received as well.  No words can really express the joy we felt as this family took their endowments out and was sealed for all time.  I could only imagine Elder Jewkes joy inside.  After the session I took pictures of everyone (and they wanted to take many) and we found the member that kindly drove us to the temple, only to find that his luxurious Saturn had broken down.  The car was not working.  We were stranded at the temple until a kind member of the ward came to pick us up.  Unfortunately, I left my I-Pad in his car and the temple parking lot is locked on Sunday & Monday.  YES I AM EMAILING ON A COMPUTER RIGHT NOW.  I feel so... old school.  
Another wonderful miracle happened this week I would like to tell you all about.  I embarked on exchanges with Elder Orr this past week in the Sunnyside ward.  We had a great day doing service at the storehouse & searching for the less active members of the ward.  BUT, the greatest event to happen was dinner being delayed for 30 minutes.  Why you may ask?  Well, during this time of postponing our stomachs being filled, Elder Orr decided to be the best missionary ever and follow the spirit to check upon one of his nearby investigators.  As we got out of the car a dog came sprinting at us (probably just to lick us) but in the dark of the night it freaked both of us out and we started to run as a man laughed at us.  We looked back and laughed for a second before continuing along our path... 5 seconds later we knew we had to go back and talk to this man.  Well, he is YSA age, a member of the church, going through an amazing conversion process and looking to come out to activities.  The rain stopped right as we approached him the timing was perfect.  He even looked past our pansy attitudes at running away from his dog.  
We had interviews with President Ferrin this week which was also awesome.  They wanted to go out to dinner with us after at the Olive Garden.  Another really swell week with fancy Italian food filling my soul.  That’s about all I want to type this week because this keyboard is really irritating my fingers.  I hope you all have the swellest week.  -Elder King

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Weekly Beef

Trying to avoid the camera...
Got the picture anyway!

Being a missionary is probably the greatest thing in the world.  I love it.  It's just one of those days where I am stoked to be a missionary (these seem to occur often).  This past week most definitely ROCKED my world.  We saw some amazing miracles, had a Valentine's Day feast date (with the two Elders we live with) good clarification right? We also had a really great broadcast from the brethren presiding over the NW region.  The best thing that happened was probably all of it.  Okay FIRST cool story.  We get a referral from church headquarters for a man named Chase.  We called Chase immediately and set up a return appointment for a few days later.  THEN the next day Elder Jewkes threw his coat in the washer to cleanse the stench... But neglected to remove the phone from his pocket.  The phone was demolished and we attempted to put it in rice overnight but that didn't work and the rice was flavored... So all we have now is a southern rice flavored broken phone.  All appointments were difficult to figure out especially Chase.  We used the church phone to confirm our appointment with him and he said "I will be there from 1-3". Nice timing right?! Well we had a lesson at 1:00 and went to that.  Great lesson and we thought we would just work around that area until dinner when we remembered we were supposed to meet Chase! We bolted down to the church hoping he hadn't left yet... And guess who was waiting for us talking to sister missionaries in the foyer?!  Yeeeeeeep!  CHASE!  He is now preparing to be baptized on March 12th! Things always work out. Elder Jewkes caught some sort of wuss-itis sickness this week and we went into the hospital for a while to get his diagnosis.  The poor fella worked his tail off all week while being sick.  No NyQuil or DayQuil could cure this disease.  Not even sleep.  Other than that the week has been relatively busy due to meetings and reports.  I lost my Chapstick twice and felt much sorrow until I prayed and I figured I would find it and I did.  Which was quite a relief.  My consumption of flavored water has gone through the roof. I have been frying my eggs.  Life is good.  I love being a missionary. Things always seem to work out because Heavenly Father is always in charge.  Never forget that.  Valentine's was low key because we had a fine dining dinner of breakfast burritos and Tang flavored beverage accompanied by Oreos.  It was romantic as can be.  Then we went out to find a really cool guy named Victor who wants to investigate the church.  Friday was Abe Lincoln’s b-day so we celebrated it by heading out to Red Lobster.  What a great week :)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Drinking Pepsi...Again

Jose's baptism on February 5, 2016

The week couldn't have been more fantastic.  We baptized the man Jose Alvaro.  He texted us about a month ago and asked if he could be baptized... We had some great news for him! We got about 8 young single adults to attend a baptism on Friday night which is great.  Jose has been the best to teach.  During our first lesson he revealed to us that he has read the BOM through already and knows Joseph Smith was a prophet.  All we really had to do was line up a baptism and get him involved with the incredibly fun YSA activities such as sports night.  In the picture, Jose is happy about being baptized, we swear!  I do want to tell a pretty cool story of the week.  We went searching for potential investigators in NE Portland because we had a member lesson at a Thai restaurant an hour later.  As we parked to visit this potential investigator, we gandered up at a park nearby and felt a prompting to go talk to others in the park.  We ignored such a divine prompting and got back in the car to find more investigators in our area book, only to realize my IPad had snagged some of the random Xfinity wifi nearby and decided to update the software on its own.  Therefore, no addresses of potentials.  We finally heeded the prompting to search for the “golden gater” in the park.  Jonas was the very first guy we talked to and he happened to be YSA age, looking for more knowledge about Christ and looking to be baptized again.  He definitely had a really cool and big German Shepard that looked like it would bite my calf off in one bite (which isn't hard anyway cause I typically skipped leg day in conditioning class) BUT IT WAS WAY COOL.  He is now meeting with us and looking toward baptism.  Being a missionary is pretty cool.  I really enjoyed this week.  Had a real in depth conversation with a hobo about the existence of the dinosaurs, ate 3 lunches one day and now I am marveling at how hungry I am right now.  But I want to share one more story! Our favorite returning member, Dane Daniels, had us over during the super bowl to feed us while he blasted the volume in the background.  Have you ever tried to not drink beer while hanging out at the bar? While you’re an alcoholic?  That's what it felt like having the super bowl in the background. But I love Dane.  We convinced him to come help us with a lesson shortly after because we had to have some help (no driving rule on super bowl night because drunk drivers).  And Dane told us after "I want to come out with you missionaries at least once a week.   I loved that lesson and I learned a lot".  Coming from the guy we are struggling to get to come to 3 hours of church :) the Lord worked him over and provided when we  and he needed it.  It was just one of those moments you know?  Dane also tried to take me” one on one” at basketball in my church pants, and I still beat him.  Life is good and I really love being a missionary.  I hope you all have a pretty great Valentine's Day.   Go see a chick-flick or something.  Definitely send me some funny valentines or maybe some awesome smelling hair paste. I like that stuff.  I love you all! I drank Pepsi this week…again.  Even though I committed to stopping!   Especially hard during the superbowl :)   Picture at the bottom is a selfie with an investigator at church and a photo bomb from the companion!
YSA Ward selfie!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Harry Styles Happenings

Elder King teaching "Harry Styles"in Portland.

I just want to say it's been another perfect Portland week.  The greatest people in all of Portland seem to find Elder Jewkes & I as we walk from appointment to appointment.  Maybe not the most prepared for the gospel sort of people all the time, but the GREATEST for journal writing and laughing while writing emails home.  The rains descended again this week like Hurricane Helga just how we like it!  Let's start off with an interesting experience while walking the streets this past week.  I was on exchanges with Elder Astle in NE Portland walking the streets attempting to talk to people.  We saw a house off to the right with 3 YSA aged folks lounging around outside and I thought I saw some good brethren who could be one day accepting the gospel.  As we drew nearer I realized my eyes were sorely mistaken... As soon as we arrived at the stairs walking up to the porch the door opened and we were graced with the sight of a large "full moon". We were told to get off the sidewalk and continue on unless we wanted to purchase some pot.  Not what we were expecting for sure?! I couldn't help but laugh my brains off for the rest of the day. LESSON LEARNED:  YOU JUST CANT JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER EVEN IF IT LOOKS G- RATED!  I will now attempt to describe the reasoning for the subject title of this email.  It begins with member stop by visits on Saturday of last week.  We stopped by a few with no luck until we arrived at Brother Barrow’s home.  He let us in right as he opened the door and I couldn't really focus on anything other than the fact he looked exactly like Harry Styles from One Direction.  I even asked him "have you ever been told you look like..." And he cut me off right then and there and finished the sentence for me.  He gets that about 50 times a day.  But I was pretty dang excited so I took a picture with him and asked him to autograph my bicep.  Not to mention he really needed a visit from the missionaries and wants to start coming back to church.  He gets anti-Mormon literature from his close family all the time :/ the Lord knows His people!   Cool miracle story comes next.  We were on the hunt for a referral we received in NE Portland as well for a certain young single adult interested in the gospel.  She didn't answer unfortunately and we were feeling the prompting to stay and work in this same area.  We whipped out our I pads to grab some of the neighborhood xfinity wifi only to be saddened at the sight of no xfinity wifi.  So, not really knowing what to do or who to talk to that would be YSA age we embarked as wanderers in a strange land.  We lost ourselves in the streets talking to everyone we could and doing our best to follow the spirit towards at least one person that needed the gospel... As we followed the
promptings of the spirit we landed at Eric's house.  Eric happened to be driving a Lotus which was way cool and he happened to have studied with Mormon missionaries before.  He requested visits from the missionaries a few years back and he told us that since we stopped by this evening he will be pursuing the church again.  He says it's no random occurrence that we stopped by.  WAY cool.  You're never really lost when you're on a mission, even in Portland.  Okay, so cool story comes next.  Our ward mission leader Cameron Smith loves taking us out to dinner.  He probably takes us out at least once a week and he knows the best spots to grub out.  He took us to Gustav’s German cuisine this past week and we sat down on Friday night for some schnitzel and fondue.  Shortly after we sat down the Gustav team came out with accordions to sing and dance for everyone as we grubbed out on German food.  Definitely a unique experience when the whole restaurant is raising beer glasses and toasting to the accordion player and we all raise our lemonade and water glasses to toast as well! German food is awesome.  The saints are amazing wherever you go and take care of all the missionaries.  It’s been a grand week indeed. I wish you the best of weeks from the streets of Portland and I hope you all take some time to spend with your Heavenly Father in prayer.  A ten minute prayer in the morning and night (those are way longer) is only about 4% of your day.  Send him some love and He will send it back.