Monday, September 26, 2016

Hollywood's Latest and Greatest

Enjoying the view in Astoria.

Enjoying the graffiti in Portland!

WHAT A GREAT WEEK!  NEVER been so busy in all my life & never been so happy.  Let me relate some of the weekly beef / meat locker for you to chow on this upcoming week.  Went on a few exchanges a few hours away one of them being in an old area.  Acted out a skit in primary this week all the while finding some precious / elect souls to make the day brighter.  I am keeping my promises to drink less diet soda ( for the most part ) and Elder Iler gets my Lord of the Rings references.  I just want to witness to everyone reading this email that there is a God, there is a Jesus Christ & all of this is real.  He cares & if you want to make your life better try the gospel on for size.  I would be in deep trouble if I denied any of these truths after the experiences of doing what I do now.  I'm serious.  Miracles happen every day.  The same miracles that happened in all those legends you read about in the Bible or other sources.  Okay #1 story for the week. Went to Astoria this week for an overnight exchange with a couple other Elders.  Astoria is about two hours away from where we live and we enjoyed the road trip.  This was my first time seeing the great coastal city of Astoria in all its glory.  You would think you just arrived in downtown San Fransisco or something upon driving into Astoria.  Soon after we arrived we threw on some service clothes to help a soul in need of some trash-taking-to-the-dump.  No joke we showed up at this house and probably a years worth of old trash sat in the garage.  Spiders the size of Mt Krumpit were climbing out of the bags.  This was a great testimony to me I was serving where I needed to be.  Not soon after seeing / smelling the first gross-ness I was quickly reminded of my prior experience as a janitor at a junior high school.  I threw on some gloves & went ham on those bags of trash.  The other missionaries looked at me like I was an endangered species.  The lady for whom we did service came outside crying tears of joy because she could not take all this rubbish to the dump herself & has been very stressed about the whole situation for a while now.  You know that good feeling when you do service for someone else?  OKAY #2 story for the week.  Happened while I was on exchanges down in Portland in the old Springwater YSA ward.  I happened to be on exchanges with two of my former companions as well :)  which was quite a treat itself.  Elder Johansen & Elder Sander-Smith currently reside in the Springwater YSA congregation watching over the saints in the metro-Portland area.  Elder Johansen my very own son went with me after dinner to a cool lesson.  Upon entering we were graciously given a slice of pumpkin pie accompanied by a tall glass of ginger ale (non alcoholic okay?)  and Elder Johansen told me this young lady was quite difficult to teach.  She apparently closes up when spirituality comes up.  This lesson however was different.  We asked a few questions and she started to open up!  elder Johansen was listening to the spirit like a champion and pulled out a mormon message and the tears came streaming down.  The Holy Ghost was so present in the lesson I may or may not have attempted to snatch it out of the air and keep it for my own using.  The tears were streaming and I remembered a talk I had "RANDOMLY" read earlier in the week.  Well, here comes more tears & more spirit.  You could tell years of guilt had built up for this precious young lady.  Soon to be removed!!!  Elder Johansen & I downed that ginger ale after a victorious lesson.  The feeling is better than anything else!  OKAY #3 miracle number 3 behind door # 3.  Just last night we were on our way to a lesson & a man pulled up to the house down the street but we were a little late for our lesson!  We ignored the prompting to talk to this man.. At any rate, we had a good lesson with the man we originally showed up for and upon leaving the lesson the same man was outside his house down the street.  We followed the prompting this time and walked down to meet these two young fellas.  One of them yelled, "Hey ELDERS!"  YEAH... he knew us.  He was a member.  He was a member inactive for the past few years and wanted to sit down and talk with us about what happened to make him go inactive.  How cool is that?  How amazing is that? 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sweet Spirits in the Shire

Zone Conference Feasting

What a good week as usual.  Went on exchanges back to Fisher's Landing for a day, acquired some contacts, finished zone conferences, gave a special blessing, met some people tweaking and a had a lil Diet Pepsi.  I'll tell you this much "LIFE IS GOOD". You will be excited to hear the miracle back in Fisher’s Landing.  You will also be happy to know we found a fake dollar bill featuring Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton on the front.  On the back of the bill you would find an Apple logo & Disney logo too!  Okay coolest miracle: On an exchange back to Fisher’s Landing I received a text from one of the best families in Vancouver.  Sister Baggins (names have been changed due to privacy stuff) wanted the elders now serving in Fisher’s Landing to come over later in the week for a meeting.  Little did she know I was there for the day and I replied, "HEY, IT’S ELDER KING". She then asked if we could come over for a visit / blessing that very afternoon.  Post-dinner was the time selected for us to embark and we travelled toward the Baggins home only to realize... we would need another male present to enter her home.  We both had this feeling in our hearts that things would probably just work out if we just walked up and knocked on her door.  God would probably help us figure this out.  No joke, right as she opened the door a young man walked up the stairs.  She asked the young fella if he had a few minutes to spare and he did!  He came inside so we could give a blessing and it was one of the coolest blessings I have ever experienced.  It was Sister Baggins first blessing in a few years.   Alright, alright next story: Yesterday we lined up three people to come to sacrament & all three cancelled within 30 minutes of church starting... needless to say I felt like my BUBBLE WAS A BURST.  However, later in the day we were asked to teach priests quorum right on the spot.  Teach those young 16 year olds how to become MEN!  There was just something about our discussion and lesson that made me forget everything that could ever go wrong in my life.  Must be the spirit?  During our lesson they just asked questions about serving a mission & I prayed for help understanding how to reply.  When I did, sweet spiritual promptings came to my mind that even taught me.  I guess that's how you know when you're speaking with the spirit, when you're learning yourself as you speak!  Okay next stor : I drove all the way to Gresham without seeing one marijuana shop. That’s a miracle in itself.  Final story:  Let me tell you how great it is when your investigators have a desire to progress. A lady we are teaching has been struggling with the WOW (word of wisdom) & we have been trying to help her quit smoking.  I really have no idea how to help someone quit smoking, but that's the beauty of it all.  She has gone from 60 cigarettes a day to only 5.  She said, "I have no idea why I am quitting but I just know I need to".  That's the beauty of the gospel.  We just show up and teach the best way we know how, and God changes the heart.  Her name is Shar and she is working to be baptized next month.  She buys Diet Pepsi for me every lesson & Vanilla Coke for my companion.  She actually gets a little anxious in our lessons unless we teach her deep doctrine.  She has gone from a smoke factory to recognizing she is a Child of God and need not continue making the same mistakes over and over.  Workkkkkk is good. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

McLoughlin is $$

MTC gang - then...
MTC gang - now!

Been one of the greatest weeks of my life so far.  Got my eyes dilated, had zone conferences and invited another precious soul to enter the waters of baptism.  McLoughlin is $$ in the bank with three sets of missionaries serving here.  Our chapel was chock full for the first time in a long time and we had to open the overflow section.  I met a member of our ward that loves the Patriots and we stand against most of the state of Washington in opposition to all the Seahawks love birds around here.  Life is good and I shall relate to you some of the many miracles / stories of the week.

MIRACLE/STORY #1 - We taught a fella named Ricky this week about the Plan of Salvation.  The setting was right next to his rap studio all the while his cousins made mix tapes and beats to accompany the spiritual doctrine.  SOMEHOW, Ricky really felt the spirit touch his heart.  He felt the desire to accept a baptismal date for OCTOBER 22nd.  As we were teaching him the doctrine of the spirit world accompanied by krunk juice & cash money tunes a big smile came on his face.  He said he felt the spirit.  This lesson occurred when I was on exchanges with another elder named Braden which was a great miracle itself.  

Miracle / STORY BEHIND DOOR # 2 - Monday night was a maniac.  We had only 30 minutes to actually proselyte.  We both felt real prompted to visit a young fella in our teaching pool to share some thoughts with him.  GUESS who was home and had beeen thinking about us that day?  Yes, this very same man.  We both thought to ourselves, "how blessed could we be?"  The minute we hit the streets for the night the man behind door #2 was home.  

MIRACLE /STORY # TRES LECHES - I had an eye appointment this week to finally get these blasted glasses off my face which they fall off everytime I bow my head to say a prayer which is quite often out here.  They dilated my eyes and both of them looked like a black hole.  I was driving for the day and I was told to wear sunglasses... well, I wear normal glasses so how would that work?  Fear not, the eye doctor has it covered with some slick eyebrow slip on shades.  I drove around and walked around all day with the glasses slip you will see attached in a photo below.  Only approximately 8 comments were made of the size of my eyebrows that day.  I suppose it made for a good conversation starter.  

We also had some great zone conferences this week where I got to see a couple of the elders I first left from the MTC with.  Ill send the photo of the first week of the mission with them and the photo of us now.  My companion Elder Iler & I get along a little too well.  We have been making fun of Pitbull & the band Nickelback ever since we met.  This week we made noises from a droid on Star Wars consistently in the car.  Life is good.  When your in sync with your companion the spirit seems to flow like a raging river.  We did some service for a lady in our area that works for the HAA (Haunters Association of America) We helped her set up her haunt for the upcoming October festivities and she fed us Pepsi + 7 layer dip.  Life couldnt really be better.  

Monday, September 5, 2016

Weekly Meat

Dinner with a little friend.

I think this week I'll just send a few brief sentences concerning the joys of my labors & attach a few photos for viewing the joy.  I just wanna go play some basketball to be honest. It was a week to remember. Like Bilbos 111th birthday.  Okay EVENT #1 - on Saturday we had a magical exchange with the Longview Elders.  It was good to smell the smell of paper factory again and see the good folk of Longview again.  We first helped a family move & you will see a picture below of our labors turned black and white.  NEXT!  One of the precious souls that was baptized when I served in Longview decided to have a meeting with the Elders serving there now the very day I showed up.  What a joyous meeting again to see someone still excited to live the gospel.   EVENT #2 - we went to visit our main man Todd who has no phone.  Because of the no phone situation we have to stop by quite often to keep the connection going.  We stopped by the other evening and as we crawled alongside the walls of his apartment complex (because of the torrential downfall of heavenly rain) a man walked up to us and said he "wanted to be spiritually fed". Well, we cooked up a sermon.  He was invited to be baptized and accepted a date for October!  He came with us about 30 minutes later to the ward BBQ social where he told us he needs a religion he can focus in on.  He told us he believed the Joseph smith story the minute he heard it.  Life is good.  Okay EVENT #3 - Just today we were at Walmart and a man tapped on my shoulder to talk to me.  It was a family I taught back in Longview again!  They had since moved to Seattle and now back down to Vancouver.  He said he needed some help and saw my blonde hair from across Walmart. What are the odds we show up at the same time at Walmart on the same day?  Vancouver has a plethora of walley worlds. How cool. Okay EVENT #4 -  This week was just really great we took pictures with all the missionaries in our ward posing up by our cars.  We have three sets in one ward.  It rained this week all week and the weather was cool.  We had a couple meetings with missionaries and one of our investigators came to church for a great fast and testimony meeting with no mention about the Seahawks except from me telling the crowd the Patriots were better than the Seahawks.  Sorry for the less than descriptive cap of the week but enjoy the photos. The last one is what you have to do when you can't have children sit on your lap as a missionary.  THOSE CUTE LITTLE BUGGERS can squeeze right next to you during dinner. (Hopefully that doesn't sound creepy) not intended.

A motley moving crew in Longview.