Thursday, September 1, 2016

August 23rd, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

Last Monday, we were able to go to the Gateway building and have a FHE
lesson with Elissa and her family. I enjoyed seeing everyone interact
in Chinese and Elder Liu did a great job leading most of the lesson on
the plan of salvation.

In Zone Conference the main thing I feel I learned is that I need to
be more conversational in my teaching. I shouldn't just teach
principles, but I interact with those I come in contact with. I have
been applying this more in more than just teaching situations and I
have found that it has helped me to be less "robotic" or rote in my
encounters with others.

We were able to get ahold of Freida again. She was busy preparing for
a class she had to teach at OSU, but we were able to still talk for a
few minutes. She accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon last time we
visited her and we brought her a Swahili copy this time so she can
read them side by side.

Thursday, I went on an exchange with Elder Gardner to Lewis Center. We
got to teach Lora. In that lesson, I was trying to apply what I had
learned in zone conference by being more conversational. We were able
to help resolve a couple of her concerns while helping her come to
those conclusions. At the end of the lesson, Lora said how she liked
that we were very down to earth. We also had a lesson with Dominic and
his kids. It was interesting how different each of their interests in
the gospel was. Teaching such a varied family was a good learning

Saturday, we had another exchange with Elder Gardner, although this
time I was with him and Elder Janson in Powell. During studies we get
a call from President Daines asking for our help in preparing for the
mission activity. When we got to the mission home, we did an "Olympic
relay" to test the difficulty and timing of the different legs of the
relay. Afterwards we help fill water balloons for an hour. Next, we
had to tract down two large propane grills and several cornhole sets
from members. We basically drove all around the ward all day. In the
end, we only had about an hour for proselyting on the exchange. I am
sure Elder Janson's feelings weren't hurt, he is quite trunky and is
ready to be home.

At church, the three of us were asked to bear our testimonies in a the
Gospel Doctrine class. The lesson was on the stripling warriors, so
Sister Weidner wanted us to bear our testimonies as examples of modern
day stripling warriors. It was interesting to hear the different
backgrounds we came from yet how we have all be prepared from our
youth to be where we are today.

Yesterday was my 200th day in Powell, it is crazy to think how fast
that has passed. We got to go to both mission activities because we
helped set up everything and pack everything away for Monday's
activity. Monday was tiring though, we were out by 7:30 hauling things
into and out of the trailer, and we stayed through 4:30 when we got
everything put away. Also President Daines said we aren't friends
anymore because I hit him in the junk while playing whiffle ball. It
was partially his fault though because he was taking photos while
standing behind the pitcher. Oh well, it was a fun day.

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

August 15th, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

Elder Janson has been helping out Elder Long, the Vehicle Coordinator
with inspecting cars at Zone Conferences this week. So Elder Long has
been picking him up in the morning and we don't see him until the
afternoon. It has been weird going from a trio back to two and
switching back and forth. We never had any of that kind of
inconsistency in the other tech elder trio I was in. We also lost
Elder Liu for church on Sunday so he could help a Chinese family that
was attending one of the OSU branches. Life has been anything but
normal, but it has still been a fun adventure.

We had a lesson with Brother Rinehart this week. He has been
struggling with his commitment to come to church each week. We helped
him to see what he gets out of church to help motivate him to attend.
We could do a better job of helping other members fellowship him so
that he has others encouraging him.

In District Meeting, I really enjoyed the roleplay we did where we
taught the restoration simply in 2:30, but we also included reciting
the first vision. It was challenging, but fun. Elder Belnap, a newer
missionary in our district, did great and I can see he is growing in
his teaching ability.

We went over to help Brother Carson again this week, and we were able
to gain some more insights as to what challenges their family is going
through. Brother Carson seems like he is still progressing and his
testimony is staying strong despite the hardship. I am glad to see
that hard times are not shaking his faith. I can tell that strength
will bless his family as they see his example.

On Friday, we were asked to help with an "emergency move." Brother
Clawson, a member in the Worthington Ward needed help moving his
mother down the street in the same apartment complex. They needed to
be out of the apartment by noon and we started at 10am, so we needed
to be quick. Elder Janson was off with Elder Hartung moving some of
the mission's furniture in the storage unit, so it was just Elder Liu
and I to help them move. I am thankful they had a couple of movers to
get all of the heaviest furniture, but their time was limited so they
didn't get it all. Overall, it took about five hours (we sure missed
that noon deadline) to get everything moved. I have never been so
exhausted after helping someone, but I was glad we could help them
out. Brother Clawson is the only member of the church in his family,
so this gave us plenty of opportunities to share about what we do as
missionaries and why we like to help people.

Saturday, we helped the Von Niederhausern's pick up an upright piano
from someone in Powell. We showed up at the address, but we beat the
Von Niederhausern's there. The person who lives there is a man named
Scott. He was drunk and we had quite the conversation with him while
we were in his house waiting for the members to arrive. We tried to
share a gospel message with him, but he didn't really want one. He was
curious about our service as missionaries though. The members took
about fifteen minutes to show up so we got plenty of time to chat with
Scott. He definitely is interesting.

Driving the piano back, Brother Von Niederhausern took a turn a little
too fast and the piano fell over, shattering the back window to the
truck and it also left a big dent in the truck. The piano fell on the
piano bench, so that thing is toast. What is worse is that the truck
isn't even his, it is his brother's truck. Luckily, they got the piano
for free though, so the cost to repair the window will be about the
price they would have paid for the piano.

We finally got a ward mission leader, Brother Rappleye. I am really
excited to have him as the ward mission leader. He is really caring
and brings a lot of experience as he has been on the high council for
the past six years. Now he also gets to attend church with his family
so people can stop asking Sister Rappleye if her husband is less

At church, we had a visitor that I was really surprised to see. His
name is Brother Meteer and he was my teacher in the MTC. He looks
really different now and I wouldn't have recognized him if he hadn't
introduced himself in priesthood meeting. He was passing through on
his way to an internship. I never thought I would see him in Ohio. I
am so glad we had the chance to catch up. It was the highlight of my

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

August 8th, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

For some reason this transfer has been more difficult to get office
tasks done. Usually it takes about a week to get back to the swing of
things, but with the stake key indicator report lining up right after
transfers it is taking longer. Also, I feel I didn't do as great of a
job training Elder Low on how to complete the different office tasks
in the beginning, so I am trying to do better with Elder Liu. He is
doing great with all the office work. We have been able to get out to
see more people the last couple of days and I think things are finally
becoming normal again.

I like how in Zone training meeting we took some time as a zone to
discuss and brainstorm different finding ideas. There were a lot of
ideas that came out of it that I had never thought of. In the meeting,
I was also reminded of how we can be either selfish or selfless in our
service. We need to be fearless, confident, and bold otherwise we are
selfish. If we let our fears get to us then we are focused on
ourselves and not focused on helping others progress.

We helped Brother Carson in his garden because he has been so busy and
there was a lot of work for him to catch up on. As we were working,
Brother Carson scraped his leg on a metal post which took up a nice
chunk of skin. He will be fine though, don't worry. As we were getting
close to being done, Brother Carson was watering a corner of the
garden that ended up having a hornet nest in it. Brother Carson was
the closest and got stung a few times. Elder Liu was fairly close too
and got stung on his head and leg. He was a good sport about it
though. When we were back at the apartment that night he put a
band-aid on his head and said "I need to take selfie."

I really enjoyed Fast Sunday. We still don't have a ward mission
leader, but the meetings were still good. The gospel principles lesson
happened to line up and talk about fasting. I realize that I haven't
really been fasting with as much purpose as I could be.

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

August 1st, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

We had transfers this week! Elder Low went to Xenia and is a district
leader now. Here is the surprising thing, I am in a Tech Elder Trio
again! My new companions are Elder Liu and Elder Janson.

Being with two companions again has been strange, especially with how
different each of our personalities. When I was with Elders Marvin and
Winkler, we all had really similar interests so we all felt
comfortable around each other. It isn't that we don't get along, the
friendship just hasn't been as immediate.

Elder Liu is from mainland China and came to Ohio in the same transfer
I came. He is a convert and joined the church in Canada while he was
going to school there. He is 27 and has a masters degree in chemical
engineering. Elder Liu has been doing great with all of the tech tasks
we have had to do. He is not yet confident in his skills, but he has
been a real asset. I can tell he has a loving personality and he has
wonderful spiritual insights.

Elder Janson is from Highland, Utah. We served in the same district
for my first transfer in the mission and now we are companions. It has
been cool to see the change in him since then. He is one transfer away
from going home now. Elder Janson has been struggling to come to terms
with this new assignment as a technology specialist. At first he was
feeling like he was not part of the team, and that he is "just along
for the ride." He is feeling that less now, but he still feels out of
place. This is the last area that he expected to be in to end his
mission and I can tell he wants another area. Having Elder Janson to
assist with the workload has helped during this large transfer. He
will continue to be helpful, but I can tell there will need to be a
lot of direction given to keep him on task. While working with Elder
Long, I have seen him do some fantastic work on the cars, so it is
just a matter of him finding the right motivation.

We haven't had a lot of time to meet with investigators this week, but
we have been making the best of our time with members during dinners.
We have been sharing part of the "Families are Forever" ensign talk
which lists some steps members can make in working together to
fellowship others into the church. I like the message because it gives
advice on how the family can be more unified and gives good direction
on what each member of the family can do to help. The three main
points I like are fasting and prayer as a family, setting a date as a
family that they will find someone that has accepted to meet with the
missionaries, and picking a family to fellowship. I have found many
other talks that I think will be invaluable in motivating the ward to
fellowship and invite their neighbors.

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

July 25th, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

(Once again, a note to my missionary friends. As Technology
Specialists, our Preparation Day is Monday for transfer week. So no
worries, I am not being disobedient by emailing today.)

Last week, we had a zone activity at Highbanks Metro Park, it is the
same place as our summer mission activity last year. We split up into
two teams and had a couple of different competitive activities. We had
a photo scavenger hunt challenge where we had six photos to take where
everyone had to be in the photo. Our team would have won, but our
leader misread the instruction sheet and so we only had completed five
of the six. The next activity was a relay race with several different
parts. In the first leg, a companionship needed to work together to
thread a needle, one companion held the thread while the other
companion held the needle. The next part, one companion had to carry
their companion on their back for a distance. Third, two
companionships carried a water bottle between them using only their
faces to carry it. Last, someone would wrap their companion in toilet
paper completely then the "mummy" had to run without ripping the
wrapping. The final activity we had was a jump rope challenge where
each team had to see how many people they could get to jump rope in
the same rope at the same time.

Elder Low and I were able to have a lesson with Aaron this week.
Usually Shirley is the one that is more engaged in the conversation,
but this time it was just Aaron, so we were able to focus more on his
needs. I feel like the lesson went really well and were able to relate
to him. He has an interest in cars and talked about how he really did
not like Ford, but after driving one for the past few years he has
grown to love it. We compared this to the gospel and invited him to
"test drive" the gospel and give it a chance to see if it is good.

We were stopped by an Officer while tracting on Tuesday. This is a
first for me. He was really nice and we talked about how the police
dog he had in the car was getting cranky lately. He ran our licenses
and let us go back to tracting. I am glad the police are mostly on our
side and don't really impede the work. He just had to do his job and
respond to the complaint that was called in.

In District Meeting, I learned that I need to help investigators
recognize how they feel after a lesson. It is important to help them
see the contrast between the spirit being in their life and not in
their life. This is something I feel I can work on more. I am usually
more focused on following up and teaching that I forget to assist them
in the self-guided discovery process.

We had another lesson with Bill this week. We kept the lesson simple
and focused on how we can make prayer more meaningful and how he can
become more comfortable praying with others. Elder Low did a great job
sharing his personal experience with prayer and worked well to show
Bill how he can overcome his fears.

We were able to meet with Brother and Sister Sargent who are in our
Ward boundaries, but work with the YSA Wards. Our visit enabled us to
build some trust with them and we found some ways we can help some
members that they knew. They had a lot of insights as to how we can
help these individuals that we have had little success with in the
past. I am optimistic to see if we can help these individuals find
friendship and grow their faith as we reach out to them.

This week was the last Sunday for our ward mission leader before he
moves. He has been a great help to us and we are sad to see him leave.
He wasn't released, and a new ward mission leader wasn't called, so
hopefully the bishop is planning to call a new one soon.

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

July 18th, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

Early in the week, we had a lesson with Grant and we brought Jake
Hunter. This was his first time going to a lesson with the
missionaries. He did a fantastic job bearing his testimony. We taught
the plan of salvation through the use of Alma 18. Grant believes in a
higher power, but he doesn't know exactly who that being is. This
situation allowed us to relate a chapter in the Book of Mormon
directly to his needs like we had discussed in district meeting last
week. We also brought up the word of wisdom and testified boldly of
the power we receive if it is kept. When we first brought it up, Grant
told us flat out that he wouldn't make this change in his life and
that we might as well quit teaching him now. I have never received
such stern rejection to our teaching quite like this moment. Earlier
in my mission, I feel I would have just accepted what he said and
stopped teaching him, but this time was different. We continued to be
bold, continued to testify, and continued to promise that his life
would be blessed by keeping it. I can't say that he is fully on board
with living the word of wisdom yet, but his heart has softened a lot
to that idea. Elder Low and I talked about this lesson later on and we
both felt the need to keep pushing back and keep trying to teach him
at this point. I can't imagine the disappointment and regret both of
us would have felt if we had just given into the easier way instead.

Since Elder Low and I only had half of the time for our training in
District Meeting last week, Elder Gardner gave us some time this week
to go over the rest of what we had planned to share. We took some time
to hear experiences of what people had applied from the previous week
of talking about goals and most companionships had something positive
to share. The experiences showed that the district members were
getting more creative with their goals and making them fun so that
they were motivated to accomplish them. The big takeaway I got from
District Meeting is that in teaching others, I need to find out if
people understand that God loves them. A lot of the time we tell
people that God loves them, rather than show them. This reminds me of
the Zone Conference with Elder Zeballos where President Daines shared
that we should help investigators feel affirmation that God loves

We have found some success working with part-member families this
week. We were able to have a lesson with Sister Benver, who has been
going through a difficult time with her family situation and can use
some support from the ward. The rest of her family are not members and
we hope to be able to involve them more in future visits. We also hope
to work with the rest of the ward in providing fellowship for her
since this is a perfect opportunity to involve the ward council. Her
home teacher has already been a great help and we have been able to
build quite a lot of trust with him as we have demonstrated that we
care for Sister Benver.

The other part-member family we intend to work with more is the
Gershutz family. Sister Gershutz is the only member in her household,
but she has supportive parents that are strong in the gospel. When we
went to try visiting their family, we happened to catch Sister
Gershutz's mom and were able to get some good information on how we
can teach to their family's needs. I am excited to work with this
family. They seem to have a lot of potential, we just need to work out
the scheduling to be able to meet with them.

Elder Low and I have been making some progress on making our study and
planning times more effective. I have really seen how planning out
during daily planning the topics we will study for companion study the
next day has helped us to have more meaningful studies focused on our
investigators. Another idea we tried this week is setting fifteen
minute timers during weekly planning as we started each numbered step
of the planning guidelines. This was in an effort to help us get
though each step of planning and not stay too long on the earlier
steps since we had been leaving little to no time for the later ones.
Any time we had left at the end could then be spent going back and
finishing the steps we felt we needed more time. We noticed that the
timers did more than help pace our planning, it helped refocus us when
we would get onto tangents.

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

July 11th, 2016

In District Meeting, we were asked to come prepared with a concern
that one of our investigators have. Interestingly, everyone in the
district came with the same concern: helping investigators to read the
Book of Mormon. From our discussion as a district, the main thing that
I got that I need to apply is that we need to help investigators learn
how to identify principles so they have a desire to read on their own.
I have had a couple chances to apply this in lessons this week.

Elder Low and I were also asked to give a training on how to set
goals. I enjoyed giving this training because it helped me to improve
in an area I feel I lacked. I found several examples in the Ensign
that helped show how to set specific goals.

From what I learned in preparation for that training, I have revised
my goal to obey with exactness. My goal is each week, I will use three
new ideas for teaching or finding from PMG and I will account to the
Lord each night on my efforts. I will ponder and listen for how I can
do better the next day. To accomplish my goal, each day I will read in
PMG until I have found at least one new idea to try. With those ideas
I find, I will add them to a list that is in a visible place, on my
study desk and in my reminder list on my iPad. To make sure I stay on
track, on Friday mornings, I will review my efforts from the previous
week. During this time I will evaluate goals and expectations so that
I can discuss them during companionship inventory.

Elder Low and I made some Dulce de Leche during weekly planning. It
took about three hours to cook on the stove and we made it without
blowing up our kitchen (phew!) Since we had never made it before and
had heard some horror stories of when you don't watch the pot, we were
a bit a nervous. It tasted just as good as when I had it at the
Weaver's back at the start of my mission. We will be taking some to
district meeting this week so I will send some pictures of the
finished product next week.

This week, we were finally able to set up a lesson with Brother
Rinehart. This was a good lesson where I felt the spirit testifying
through Elder Low and myself. We helped to relate the chapters Bill
was reading in the Book of Mormon to his life and helped him see how
he can learn from these events.

We got to spend some time sanding and painting with the Von
Niederhausern family. They needed some help and we didn't know much
about how to paint, but we were happy to learn. It ended up being
really fun and we got to know their family better.

As a district we chose to fast together. Every time I fast, I have
found my testimony of fasting and prayer increase. This was no
exception. I feel like there is such clarity when I fast and my
problems seem to melt away. I find it easier to turn outward and focus
on others.

Sunday, Elder Low and I went to visit some investigators and members
with Tyler Welch. We were able to meet a less active member that we
have never been able to contact. His name is Brother Klemann. Through
talking we found out that President Welch (our stake president and
Tyler's dad) was Brother Klemann's YM president a long time ago.
Brother Klemann also knows some of Tyler's brothers. This was a really
positive meeting and he would like to have us back. We were also able
to have a lesson with an investigator that hasn't been answering the
last several times we stopped by. Tender mercies just seemed to keep
happening one after another. This has been probably one of the most
successful times of bringing a member with us so far on my mission.

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission