Monday, May 30, 2016

Glovka Family Glory

The Glovka family baptism May 28, 2016.

What a week to be a missionary.  I know I say it every email but I’M NOT KIDDING.  You just gotta hear about this week.  Baptisms, birthdays and temple tours.  Elder Matthews has a birthday today and we are celebrating by proselyting from 6-9 PM.  I made him pancakes with a special message on his oj.  We will be having a BBQ with some of our favorite members from the ward.  One of the members helping today said "I never really came home from my mission".  I can attest to this statement, because with him we basically have a third missionary in the ward & it's awesome.  What a help.  I am pretty sure when I come home I will never really come home.  I see happiness in this member I don't see very often.  I want to continue serving after my mission like him.  ANYWAY… NOW FOR SOME GOOD STUFF:  Yesterday we taught some members of our ward the techniques of building a family mission plan and figured out it was the birthday of one of the family members AND ELDER MATTHEWS B DAY IS TODAY. Therefore, they invited us over for Sunday evening cake / ice cream.  As we arrived, this wonderful member was putting on a silly red jumpsuit and stuffing it with balloons.   He told us a family tradition of his is to wear a red jumpsuit stuffed with balloons and you have to pop them all without using your hands.  I was privileged to watch this member and Elder Matthews perform this daunting task.  Classic!  NEXT GOOD STUFF : BAPTISM OF THE GLOVKA FAMILY. These swell people changed big time to be baptized.  They went on a tour of the temple grounds with us Friday evening before the baptism.  COOL THING FROM THE TEMPLE TOUR:  About 5 weeks ago Elder Matthews & I received an email from sister missionaries in Florida wanting to ask us if we knew anyone from Florida we could refer to them.  We were a little confused because we don't know anyone in Florida that we wanted to refer besides Pitbull the singer.  Well, the sister missionary giving us a tour of the temple was from Florida!  She happened to be praying for a while concerning how she could share the gospel with family members back home.  This was the answer to her prayers.   How cool!! The next day we participated in a great baptism.  The Glovka family all entered into the waters of baptism with little to NO problems at the baptism.  We even had Costco cheesecake to eat after the service.  I baptized Katie.   OKAY, NEXT COOL THING/LESSON LEARNED:  This would be the finding of a new investigator late in the evening hours.  I was on exchanges with an Elder that wanted to fill up gas at 8:30 pm ( DURING PRIME FINDING TIME!)  My heart  grieved at this desire.  Nonetheless, I followed his desire to fill up gas.  As we began fueling, we felt promoted to talk to the other young lady filling up gas beside us.  She openly told us she had prayed for the first time only about a week ago.  She found Christ for the first time and loved the feeling.  She actually had a friend pass away about a month ago and was pretty stoked to hear about the spirit world. What are the odds?! How DOES HEAVENLY FATHER DO IT?!  Heavenly Father is watching very closely over you and he knows each one of you.  Never forget that truth!  Well, I still blow dry my hair, I still like diet drinks, and I love being a missionary.  Greatest two years of my life, since I first bought my Mitsubishi Lancer. Have a good week and make sure that you always pick Iron Man over Captain America.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Another Swell Week

Elder King and family friend Rick Jarvis.

Yet another really, really, really great week here in Fisher’s Landing.  I will share some miracle stories with you and relate some funny happenings of the week.  I have purchased a supply of American flags to fly around the apartment wing and in our car.  Not confederate, but American flags.  They are adding to the spirit of the room.  Cool miracle #1 was definitely finding Sarah, a cool investigator, the other night.  The week before, we were tracting at about 8:55 pm, and saw Sarah walking across the street.  We bolted over and talked to her and even made her remove her headphones.  She was quite a “golden find” and interested in the gospel.  We neglected to get a return appointment or her number for future contact... We prayed over the next week that she would be taken care of and guess what happened the other night?  We were out again working at 8:50 pm knocking doors and we felt inspired to go knock on another door at 9:00. No luck... but we felt good!  We felt the spirit.  No it wasn't caffeine, it was the spirit!   We were driving home a different way than usual because Elder Matthews felt inspired to take this route home and guess who was walking down the same street?  Guess who accepted another lesson and gave us her number?  Yes, Sarah did just that!  Now, I shall explain another great event we participated in.  It is called the Washougal 5K stride run for education.  Some of the people that run in the event are members of the church and asked us to participate /volunteer in this event.  We ensured that no runners were clobbered by cars and we acted as cheerleaders for the younglings to spring to the finish line.  After the event and during the event, many people were asking each other "what did our name tags mean?" And all sorts of other questions.  There were tons of missionary opportunities and I even told people if they finished the race and read scriptures they would get blessings.  I don't think I was supposed to do that, but I did it anyway and I even cried out like a wookie every now and then to keep people’s spirits up.  I also met someone this week (I actually had dinner with this someone just last night)  that grew up with my Dad! Rick Jarvis, a good old family friend of the King family.  Yes, they lived in the swamp together down in Louisiana!  What are the odds?  Well, I heard more about the south than I ever wanted to know and I heard some good stories to talk to my father about.  A few of those stories I need to verify with my Dad to make sure he really was the criminal mastermind his friend described him as.  It was one of those moments where I knew this mission was my place to serve.  I think I'll just leave it at that and tell you this week was awesome.  We have a baptism this upcoming weekend for one of the greatest families known to mankind.  We have been exceedingly blessed with delicious smoothie joints nearby our home and many people to teach. Old spice hair paste is the best and Old Spice Swagger deodorant. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Member Missionary Magic

Elder Matthews and Elder King at Multonomah Falls - May 16, 2016

It's been a fantastic week in Vancouver WA.  Elder Matthews & I shared the gospel with many and drank diet Mtn dew and Coke Zero w/diet cherry add in (Sonic special). We taught active members of our ward the majority of our week.  You would be surprised to see what strengthening the roots of the church does for the branches.  When the roots grow, the branches can increase.  Elder Matthews loves trees and farming stuff, so he has been teaching me about tree growth as related to the gospel.   Okay ,here is a cool story from the week.  After learning from one of our members how to work better with members, we started taking him up on the counsel he gave.  One important step he taught us is to have the members actually set up the lessons for our investigators.  Have the “fellowshipper”  for any given investigator call or stop by to set up the lessons.  We texted our favorite member of the ward, whom is fellowshipping our top investigator family (on date for baptism the 28th of May), and invited him to set up the next lesson.  For the past three weeks we have struggled to teach the youngest daughter of this family and we assume it is because we are scary 20 year olds that look like FBI agents or something.  But, our savvy member invited them over for a lesson & root beer floats after.  Guess who showed up?  The youngest daughter! He also invited the youngest daughter to take the lessons from him for an easier environment to learn in.  She accepted and now wants to be baptized on the 28th with her family :).  During our last lesson with the family we taught of fasting for strength.  The whole family fasted (a father age 40, two daughters ages 14 & 10) for 24 hours!  I don't even remember doing that until I was a missionary.  They fasted to be baptized and to have strength.  Guess who invited them to do so?  OUR WARD MEMBER.  Work with the members and missionary work is a lot easier.  This week we took out two priests from the ward and invited them to compile a list of inhabitants perishing in unbelief (people without the gospel - hopefully that doesn't sound mean). Both times we were lead to families & people that we would never have found on our own.  It was really cool to see a couple younglings reaching out to their friends at such a young age.  Missionary work is kind of like the fellowship of the ring.  Everyone plays a significant role.  Just the other day, we had a cool miracle as well.  All day long we worked our butts off visiting everyone we could and talking to as many people as we could.  No luck for most of the day until about 8:45 PM.  We saw a girl walking her dog with headphones on across the street.  We felt inclined to preach some gospel  to her and darted across the street.  With a hand wave she removed her headphones to see why we were so happy to see her.  She asked at least 5 sincere questions about the Book of Mormon and said she would like to take the lessons.  She went from saying she was Catholic and happy where she was, to wanting to take the lessons at the end of the conversation.  Most of the success in missionary work does not come from our own plans.  We just hiked Multonomah Falls, and I only spent 5 dollars at the gift shop so it was a successful day.  This is the coolest place to serve a mission I hope you all know.

Monday, May 9, 2016


Hit and Run Miracle Encounter

Scott's baptism May 7, 2016

Johnny Miller Missionary Fireside
Let me tell you about one of the greatest weeks of my life.  The revelation has come pouring out from heaven as if I unlocked some magical treasure chest of eternal joy.  But, all we did as a companionship was pray and desire.  This week contained miracle upon miracle from hit and run car crashes to baptizing a Cambodian.  Okay,  first cool story would definitely have to be the car collision success story.   We received a call from Elder Lambert (my favorite senior missionary) informing us that some missionaries in our zone were hit by another car and the driver sped off.  This man then parked his car and galloped away on foot to evade the Vancouver police force while the sister missionaries called a member to come pick them up next to their nearly totaled 2016 Toyota Corolla.  We arrived shortly after the sister missionaries were picked up and Elder Lambert only remained at the scene.  We chatted and told around 394 concerned people in the area that we were okay, and that  it wasn't us in the crash. Two young men parked their car to come help out at the scene.  We explained to them the story and began teaching the restoration.  Both of these young men desired a copy of the Book of Mormon and took it home to their families.  As we gave them a copy of the book we felt the need to go say good- bye to Elder Lambert as he sat in the car with the tow- truck driver to pay the bill.  As we opened the door of the tow truck we heard a conversation between Elder Lambert and the tow-truck driver.  The driver of the truck had served a humanitarian mission in Latvia years ago.  He has not attended church in ten years due to some questions in his soul that no one has been able to answer.  Elder Lambert told this man we could answer his questions if he would let us teach him.  Next thing you know, we have the address of this man and a big smile is on his face.  We left and as we got in the car Elder Lambert came running over to our window and told us some additional insights... The tow-truck driver told him as he pulled up to the scene, he felt something in his heart as he looked at us and recognized that we were missionaries.  He felt like he belonged there and it felt good.  He told Elder Lambert he is excited to meet with us and figure out what the feeling meant.  HOW COOL!!!   All we did was show up.  The next cool story this week happened when  I returned to the Vancouver YSA this weekend to baptize one of the investigators I taught.  His name is Scott Tur.  He hails from Cambodia and is possibly the greatest human being to ever live, besides Jesus Christ.  I watched this young man progress over 6 weeks like you wouldn't believe.  He went from coffee every day to not one sip.  I am so happy that he has been baptized!  Okay next cool thing.  Do any of you know the famous pro golfer Johnny Miller?!  The one from the 70's with stylish plaid pants?  Well, apparently this hall of famer knows our mission president.  Johnny also is a member of the LDS church!  He came this past week to speak at a fireside for the missionaries.  I tried to make him sign my bicep, but the muscle was far too rigid and bulky for a pen to write on.   We snagged a picture with him.  You would never know he was a hall of fame pro golfer by the way he lives and acts.  He had many spiritual stories to share with us.  During interviews with my mission President this week,  I asked him if he liked Diet Coke.  The response was "yes" and this was good news.  I am currently thanking the Lord for this knowledge.  I really hope you all know how awesome it is to be a missionary.  Please go on a mission if you have the slightest desire.  You will never regret it.  HAVE A SWELL WEEK and don't forget to tell your mothers you love them and buy them a shirt from Walmart!!!  (That's what I did).

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day 2016!

A wonderful Mother's Day gift...a skype with our favorite missionary!  He sounds so happy and so in love with his calling to serve as a missionary.  He has had some incredible experiences and has brought the gospel message to many people in Vancouver, Washington.  Love that kid and miss him, but couldn't be more proud of him.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Slow Down, Take a Deep Breath and Smell the Roses

Selfie with favorite senior missionary.

This was one of the best weeks of my mission Elder Matthews & I seem to get along like Pepsi & Costa Vida.  Both of us are running at the same speed.  Let's get you a good review of the week which contained miracles, 7/11 pizza, and making some mission memories. Okay, first cool story I will share happened just yesterday.  Earlier in the week we received a referral to go contact someone that moved from Astoria down to Vancouver in our area and we did just that!  She told us to come back the next day but was unusually friendly.  We returned the next day and she explained that two years ago she took the mission lessons to progress towards baptism.  When she was two lessons away from baptism a close family member passes away which turned her away.  However, the Lord has now given her the feelings it is time to return to church and be baptized.  All we did was show up at the door and it was the coolest thing.  Heavenly Father knows all His children.  We believe the lessons we are learning this week have contributed to the success seen in the area.  As we have prayed before lessons and activities, we typically pray for success in the lesson or success in finding people with the plans we have made.  Never have we considered... Perhaps the plans we make or activities we plan for may NOT be the Lord’s intended plans!  This week we told the Lord if He wanted us to change our plans or the lesson outline we would do it.  We just asked for the Spirit to be our senior companion and He was ALL WEEK.  WE GOT LOST in apartment complexes like it was some sort of REAL LIVE LABYRINTH BECAUSE WE DIDNT EVEN USE LDS TOOLS OR GOOGLE MAPS.  We trusted the Lord would take us where we need to go.   Around each corner we seemed to find those of Heavenly Father’s children that needed us at those moments.  He lets us try our best and then he makes up for the rest.  Alright, now let me get real with you all here.  Yesterday I put do Terra oil on my neck to focus and instead it just made me smell like rotten fruit for most of my church meetings.  Actually, to be real with you all, this week I had quite an awakening!  I won't lie... For most of my mission, if I was to be sent home I would have considered it just "another step" in life probably with not too much pain... Mostly just a "content" attitude.   This week I caught a glimpse of what Heavenly Father sees.  He opened my eyes to take a step back and realize that this is honestly the greatest two years.  I looked around and saw how great my companion was. I even looked at the FREAKIN trees everywhere.  I remembered an amazing family I had taught earlier in the day and realized you're happiest when you're in the Lord’s service.  But sometimes you need to slow down, take a deep breath and SMELL THE ROSES.  Amidst any stress you have,  you will probably find plenty of things to rejoice over.  I also realized that I kind of like not working and going to school.   There’s nothing better than serving the Lord.  So PLEASE go on a mission.  It's awesome.