Monday, December 21, 2015

Dear Family,

So as you already know, we had transfers this past week. Usually the
Christmas transfer is small since it is only 5 weeks, but this one was
just as big as all of the other transfers I have attended. Elder
Monsen is now with Elder Stevens who he was in his district while he
was in the MTC. Elder Taylor is my new companion and I am driving
again (although both he and I would prefer if he drives so we might
talk to the assistants about changing that.) Elder Teames, our
district leader, was transferred so now Elder Bunker is the district

Elder Taylor is an awesome companion. He is from Cache Valley, Utah.
He has been in the field for six months. This is his second area. So
both of us spent six months in our first areas, Elder Taylor is just a
transfer behind me. He is a hard worker and I can tell we are going to
be able to do some good work while we are together.

President and Sister Cross took us to Thai House for dinner after
transfers. When you order your food you choose how spicy to make your
food on a scale from one to five. Sister Cross said she got a three
one time and it was too much to handle. I decided to order a three
anyway since I eat a lot of spicy ramen. I couldn't taste any heat
from the volcano chicken I ordered. I kept adding more of the chili
paste, but it wasn't getting any spicier. I am wondering if I have
built up a tolerance to spicy food. Sister Cross said she would bring
us back so I can try ordering a dish with a spice of five. The same
thing was happening when a Elder Monsen and I were at Linh's Bistro
last week. I tried some of Elder Monsen's chicken that he was having
trouble handling the spice. I couldn't taste any of the spice there
either. I am sure the family is happy I am not cooking at home right
now since I tend to make a lot of spicy dishes.

On Friday, we and the other elders had the chance to do some service
and help out with Toys for Tots. We were in an electrical company's
warehouse full of giant black bags full of wrapped presents. We would
open the bags and look at the tags on the presents and sort them into
different piles in the warehouse. The tags said things like "boy's
clothing - size 4" or "girls toy - age 3". It was kind of disorganized
at first, but we managed to make it work. I enjoyed being able to
serve, that is something I have missed about Danville. This week
should have more service projects because of the holidays and we have
some members that are planning on inviting us to help them with their
volunteer group.

That evening we had a branch Christmas party at Brother Dibble's
house. He is a counselor in the branch presidency. I enjoyed the time
we had to get to know a few more members of the branch. We ended up
getting home a little late because of how far we were from our
apartment and because we needed to drop the other elders off first.

Sunday we got to sing in the Christmas program. We and the other
missionaries agreed to sing a quartet back when Elder Teames and Elder
Monsen were here. We knew there was a possibility that any of us could
leave, but we were committed to it anyway. We asked brother Beckert,
the other branch councilor, to sing with us since Elder Teames was the
only musical talent we had in our group. You would think I have some
musical talent or something for how often I get roped into choir
performances. We sang the primary song "Samuel Tells of Baby Jesus."
Elder Taylor wasn't too happy to sing with us on such short notice. I
had also committed us to teach the gospel principles class. We
definitely didn't give him a break for his first week here as the new

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Dear Family,

Street contacting on the campuses have been difficult this week. The University of Dayton was celebrating Christmas on December 8th and so there were no classes. Sinclair College just finished for the semester on the 12th. When UD ends their semester on the 18th we will not have much missionary work we will be able to do. Elder Monsen and I are hoping to help out in some soup kitchens or serve in any other way we can.

On Tuesday, we were leaving Sinclair and were starting to walk to our bus stop when a red car bolted down the road about 100 feet in front of us. They were going the wrong way down a one way road and we heard their brakes/tires screech right before they slammed into the curb and stopped. A man jumped out of the car and started running the other direction. Within a couple seconds about fifteen police cars swarmed the area and took off on foot after him. One officer pulled a woman out of the car at gunpoint and arrested her. This was all like a live version of the show Cops. The place we were at was in downtown Dayton, so imagine what SLC looks like near all the skyscrapers. There were a few people nearby that were freaking out about the whole thing and one lady was video blogging so she could post what happened to Facebook. If mom is hyperventilating right now because she is worried about her son being in a dangerous neighborhood, try to help calm her down :) 

We had a zone conference this week. It was nice having a fifteen minute drive to a zone meeting instead of the usual hour and a half drive from Danville. This meeting was a really good uplift that helped me see more fully what the sacrament means. The prophets have been making a big emphasis on church attendance. They know that church attendance will lead to feeling the spirit more and strengthening our testimonies. I was really interested in all that we learned about the sacrament prayer. There are three parts to the prayer:
We partake of the sacrament in remembrance
We witness unto the Father that we will keep the commandments
We are promised the Holy Ghost if we keep this covenant and will be inspired through the week.

On Friday, Elder Monsen and I had a lesson with a less active member that we were waiting for outside at UD. After a few minutes someone comes up to us and introduces themselves as a member and we had a good conversation about finding more LDS students that are on campus. After he left and a few more minutes pass another person comes up and introduces himself as Brother Andes. I was shocked. I told him how surprised I was to run into two faculty that were members randomly on campus. He said he just doesn't stand out today because he wasn't dressed in his usual "Mormon clothes" today because he was doing some cleaning. After he left, Elder Monsen was holding back laughter. He turns to me and says, "I don't know how to tell you this Elder King, but Brother Andes isn't a member, he's Catholic." I don't know why he was playing along with what I said, but he was very nice and I guess he just likes talking to the missionaries on campus.

This week Elder Monsen and I have been applying what we have learned from Elder Cardon and zone conference by being more bold with members and investigators. We start sending messages or calling people with the expectation that they will do something instead of just hoping they might do something. We don't force them, we still leave room for them to exercise their agency, but they can see that we intend for them to act. From our experience this week, people have been more willing to make commitments and follow through on them.

In elder's quorum, President Larsen (the elder's quorum president) gave a great lesson about stakes in Zion. I really liked the perspective this lesson gave in knowing my own role in a stake. I invite everyone in the family to look at ways each of you can help strengthen the Lehi South Stake. To sum the points of the lesson, there were four main purposes for a stake:
1. The purpose is to unify and perfect the members who live in those boundaries by extending to them the Church programs, ordinances, and gospel instruction.
2. Members of stakes are to be models or standards of righteousness.
3. Stakes are to be a defense.
4. Stakes are a refuge from the storm to be poured out over the earth.

Monday and Tuesday we did a lot of driving to members. We are trying to reach out to more of the active and less active members that need help in building their testimonies. Most people were out at work or school, but we got an opportunity to talk to a few parents a get a better perspective of where these members are at. Everyone is really spread out so we did a lot of driving. It is a good thing that we are incredibly under miles for this month.

On Monday we went to FHE and had a white elephant gift exchange. The other Dayton elders and us just brought some silly toys from Meijer (like a Walmart), but we didn't have any way to wrap them. So we got some pitchers from the church kitchen, and used napkins as tissue paper. Then we topped them with bows made out of napkins and tape. In the end I got two half pound Reese's cups, Elder Monsen got a Star Wars figurine and dog tag, Elder Teames got some knee high Wonder Woman socks (with capes on the socks), And Elder Woodworth got a gooey zombie slingshot as well as a Super Mario watch and Beatles playing cards.

Yesterday was full of sugar. I ate one of the Reese's cups, which was a bad idea. We were in Fairborn for an oil change so we stopped at one of the Asian markets while we waited. Elder Monsen bought a lot of Japanese candy, about $25 worth. When we were driving down to Centerville we stopped at Bill's Donuts, which was recommended by an investigator and a member, so we got quite a few really good, cheap donuts.

Last night, we had a dinner with some members at Linh's Bistro, a Vietnamese and Chinese restaurant. For some reason, the restaurant was only accepting cash that night and the members that were feeding us didn't have any cash on them. They were able to withdraw some cash out, but they realized they didn't have enough and had to go back to the ATM. Their card was flagged for suspicious activity since they rarely used that card so they couldn't withdraw anymore. The other member tried withdrawing money, but that card didn't work either. So Elder Monsen and I went out to the ATM and Elder Monsen tried to make a withdrawal, but he found out he only had $9 left on his card because he bought too much Asian candy earlier that day. Finally I just decided to withdraw the money (thanks Mom for leaving money in my account). I didn't realize a restaurant not accepting cards would cause such a hassle.

I hope you all have a great week and enjoy Christmas. Please be sure to take lots of fun photos! I want to see the happy smiles on all your faces as you are opening your presents. It is supposed to be 58 degrees on Christmas here...this is weird.

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Dear family,

Last Monday we went to a lot of different Asian food markets with the
other YSA elders. We went to 2 Korean stores, a Mediterranean, and a
Japanese store. The roasted squid jerky and octopus chips were my
favorite. I have learned that American ramen is not as good as foreign
ramen. The Japanese and Indonesian ramen have been my favorite so far.
I also found some Philippine ramen, but I haven't tried it yet. The
weirdest thing I got was a red bean jelly bar. It is basically just
red beans crushed so fine it turns into jelly.

For dinner we went to Skyline Chili. It was interesting. I have never
had chili on top of spaghetti, but I guess that is what skyline is
famous for.

I feel like I am eating out way more than I should be. With always
being on the move and not having the car, it is usually more efficient
for us to eat out. I don't like how greasy the food is though, and I
would prefer not to be spending this much money. With the holidays
being near, I also feel like there is going to be a lot more to eat
because members will be feeding us. I am hoping not to put on any
weight as a result. I guess I will just need to keep exercising.

Last night we had the opportunity to help the Cross' set up the
ornaments on their Christmas tree. We also got to watch the Christmas
devotional. It was at 8pm since we are two hours off from Utah.

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

Monday, November 23, 2015

Dear Family,

There was a day this week that it was raining really hard. We were on
the University of Dayton campus contacting in the rain. Luckily we
brought our umbrellas, but we were still really soaked. We were
handing out pass along cards and they kept getting soggy. Elder Monsen
had a goal to hand ten of them out, and we only had a limited number
of them with us so we kept giving them to students even if they were
completely soaked through. We saw a squirrel out in the rain and I
said, "this squirrel isn't letting the rain stop him from contacting
all the nuts, so why should it stop us?" We ended up giving out nine
cards each; it has been our most successful contacting day so far.

We had Elder Cardon from the seventy and his wife come visit us for a
mission tour. What I learned from Elder Cardon is that I need to be
more bold with those I teach. Elder Cardon has a way of being firm,
but loving. I can see how applying these principles can help others to
accept the gospel in more abundance. A talk was mentioned from the
April 2001 general conference. Boyd K. Packer gave a talk entitled
"The Touch of the Master's Hand". There is a poem in it that I would
recommend reading. The violin in the poem can be likened to our lives.
We may feel worthless at times, but through the loving touch of the
Savior's atonement our worth is made great.

Saturday and Sunday we had stake conference for the Dayton East
Stake. It was very different than any stake conference I have been to
before. Each talk was around five minutes long then the time was
opened up for people in the congregation to comment on impressions
they have received and also to ask questions. For this stake
conference and also the last stake conference in the Columbus Ohio
East Stake there was a lot of talk about ward councils and member
involvement in missionary work. I would strongly suggest everyone in
the family prayerfully consider who they know that would benefit from
hearing your testimony and being personally invited to attend church.
I have learned in my mission that members make a big difference in the
conversion and retention of new members. Though it may be scary,
please try to reach out to even one individual this week (and every
week!). Remember, that we succeed when we invite, not when they say
"yes". People have their agency and there will be those that turn us
down, but someone definitely isn't going to accept the invitation if
one is never extended to them.

There were also a couple of other main points I got out of stake conference.
1. When we take the wrong path based on following a prompting, we are
promised that we will be urged and guided back on the right track by
the Holy Ghost. So we should follow promptings immediately.
2. If you are wondering how long you should pray or read from the
scriptures each day: do it until you feel the spirit, then go just a
little bit longer.

We do have a dinner planned on Thanksgiving with some of the YSA
members. I am not sure for Christmas yet because transfers are the
week before Christmas. The branch president offered to let us skype
and come for dinner on Christmas Eve/Day, so if I stay in Dayton that
is where I will be.

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

Monday, November 16, 2015

Dear Family,

This week was transfer week and I am with Elder Monsen. He has been
out nine months and is from Spanish Fork. He is really awesome and I
am excited to work with him. He has a strong desire to be constantly
improving. I feel like he and I are going to get along great.

Most of what I knew of missionary work has changed from what I was
used to in Danville. Since we are in a YSA branch we don't try to
teach families or older people. If we do end up teaching them through
our finding then we have to refer them to the other missionaries
regularly assigned to proselytize in this area. We also don't do
tracting out here since most people would talk to don't fit the YSA
demographic. I was really hoping that once I left Danville I would
move to a larger area with a lot of houses to tract. Well, I got my
wish only I can't tract any of them. Our area has probably 30-40 times
the number of house in my old area. Most of our finding is done
through going out on the campuses around here and trying to talk to
students that are passing by. I am a little nervous since I am not
used to his type of work. Tracting was something that was new to me
when I got to Danville, but I am really used to it and enjoy it now.
Hopefully I can grow to find the same joy in street contacting.

Apparently out here we don't do nearly as much service, but Saturday
we got the opportunity to help a widow clear a lot of overgrown plants
from her property. We found out about this project from a member and
our district decided to help out. All of the other people helping
there besides us were nonmembers. We didn't get to much of a chance to
share the gospel, but they appreciated our help and now have our
number so we could have some future chances.

This area doesn't have a car, we are "designated walkers and bus-ers"
in our area. We end up spending a lot of time traveling from place to
place and sometimes it doesn't feel like we are doing much actual
missionary work. The other elders in our branch, Elder Teames and
Woodworth, share their car with us for about half the week, so we
still can drive in some instances. Our area covers a very large
geographic area because it is a YSA branch and so we really should
have a car here. All of the members here are also really spread out
which makes traveling to any one individual take 30 minutes to an hour
out of our day.

We also do a lot more walking in this area than in Danville. Friday
was my first full day and we walked around 5-7 miles. My feet hurt a
little bit, but not enough that I needed to stop walking. So I kept
going and at the end of the day I had some really big blisters on the
ball of each of my feet.

Saturday night Elder Monsen wanted to stop into the UDF gas station
(United Dairy Farmers) to go to use the restroom. While there he
suggested we try the milkshakes there since they are really good. They
had a sale on their giant size shakes so we got them instead of the
small which was the same price. So now we both had a 32oz. peanut
butter milkshake as we are freezing our butts off in the wind on our
way to the bus station. We both regretted getting the shakes; that was
way too much sugar and it was too cold.

Our branch is also really small. We only had about 25 people show up
to church. Apparently we usually get around 50. Around Christmas and
thanksgiving break we are supposed to really empty because all of the
students go home for the holidays.

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

Friday, July 24, 2015

7/2 - 7/8

07/02/2015 Thur

We stopped by Lona's today after exchanged back. She has been having a lot of health concerns come up lately. She had to go get her eyes double dilated to get her eyes tested for her new trifocals and afterwards she had to drive home about 20 miles. She said she could barely see the break lights of the cars in front of her. She had actually called us to come park her car in her garage because she was afraid she would knock the side mirrors off. She has a lot of other health problems that compound the pain that she feels.

We went to the Troyer's house for dinner and they had specially made some apple dumplings for us. They were whole golden delicious apples which were peeled, cored, covered in dough, then cooked in a syrup they made. They were really good, but really filling. Normally they only make them in September through October, once the apples are in season.

In the evening we were finally able to get a hold of Chris so we could teach another lesson. He has been really hard to get a hold of lately since he has been driving some Amish around so they can get some work done. The lesson went really well, he was really open with everything we said and he wanted a triple combination so he could read in Doctrine and Covenants about what we discussed. He is on date for being baptized August 8th but I do not know how solid that is since it has been difficult to schedule lessons with him. We will just keep trying and I know the Lord will help work our the rest.

07/03/2015 Friday

Today was the new missionary follow up training. WE met over in the institute building at OSU campus (the same building we came to on our firs day in Ohio). This time we were given pamphlets on the restoration to hand out instead of Book of Mormons. I feel like the Book of Mormons were easier to hand out because I have a greater testimony of it and of the words contained in its pages. I was with Elder Liu, who is probably the person in my departing district that I know the least. We ended up finding an an athiest who was willing to talk, but didn't really want to pursue learning more. Elder Liu bore a really powerful testimony of the gospel and his conversion story. Sadly, this person just shrugged it off and it didn't seem to change his mind about anything. Even if that man didn't appreciate Elder Liu's testimony, I am really grateful that he shared it.

When we got back to the institute building we were able to go to the temple. This is the first time President and Sister Daines are doing a temple trip along with the new missionary follow up training. I am excited that we are able to go to the temple as often as we have been. In the future, we are probably only going to get to go every 6 months.

The temple was a great experience and I am amazed at the power of entering the temple with questions prepared beforehand. The film played in the temple was the same as the last time, but I felt like I got something completely different out of it.

I really enjoyed the training. We got to see all of the elders and sisters that we were with in the MTC and I feel like I learned a lot about how to improve as a missionary. I think my favorite thing I learned is when your are wearing the Lord's name tag, you are never inadequate. I also liked a quote from President Daines which says "Don't cut the baby in half, but it is okay to cut the bread in half". The quote means don't compromise your principles, but work with your companion to compromise on opinions/personality differences.

Later in the day we were teaching an investigator named Dan. The lesson was not very effective and we were getting frustrated. He gave us back his Book of Mormon because he "will be drawn back to it if it is true". The logic he was using didn't make any sense, but it is his choice. After we left the lesson, we got a text from the zone leaders saying that President Packer passed away. We just immediately knew so well how dwelling on that lesson and being angry about it wasn't worth it. Losing two apostles so close together is devastating. I can only imagine how the first presidency and quorum of the twelve would be feeling right now. President Packer has always been one of my favorite apostles. He spoke so boldly and always bore a wonderful witness of the Savior. I am also shocked at the timing of his death so soon after the legislation of gay marriages. For the past few conferences he has spoken out about the importance of marriage between a man and a woman, so that is too bad he won't be able to give a talk regarding that change.

We dropped by the post office to see if Elder Hill's package he is expecting has arrived. Elder Tate recently went home and said he sent a package on Monday that should arrive soon. We checked our P.O. box for a packing slip and there wasn't anything there. Elder Hill was getting a bit frustrated that his package hadn't come yet. As we were leaving, the post office worker stopped us as we were leaving and let us know a package showed up and he hadn't had the time to put the slip in our box. Elder Hill got really excited and then we found out the package was for me. Needless to say, Elder Hill was quite upset now. The package was from Austin. He ordered a big box of Pringles on Thursday that showed up after one day. ( I am about a week behind on journals and just realized I wrote about the wrong package. The pringles actually arrived 07/10/15. The next paragraph is the package that actually arrived on 07/03/15.

I got a package today from home. There were doubles of a lot of things so I could share with my companion, but he is going home so he didn't want much of it. We ended up lighting the sparklers and shooting them out of PVC pipes with a blow dart. These were the only fireworks we were able to do for the 4th of July.

When we were at new missionary training, President Daines had short interviews  with the new missionaries and he suggested that I stop taking over all of the responsibilities of managing the Ipads.  I was a little worried  about confronting Elder Hill; I don't like creating conflict. During daily planning Elder Hill was a little reluctant to do planning on the Ipad, but he was willing to do it. We are switching off daily so that we both share the responsibility.

07/04/2015  Saturday

Today is the Fourth of July and we wanted to go to Brother and Sister Yates' property in Lowdersville since they were having a party for the whole Danville group, but President Daines said that we couldn't go. Lowdersville is just a few miles outside of our mission so he said we would have to stay in Danville and do other proselyting activities. We had a few investigators that were planning on going, so it is too bad that we could not go.

I the evening, we ended up helping the M..., an Amish family, bale some hay. We got to help them for about 4 hours until the sun went down. They invited us to stay for dinner, and we really wanted to stay, but it was 9 pm and we had to go back to the residence. We plan on helping them again at 3 pm on Monday. Since we plan on starting earlier, they think we will probably be able to join them for dinner next time.

Before we went to bed, we lit the sparklers and shot them out of the PVC pipes. We do not have to be careful about starting wild fires over here in Ohio since everything is so green and wet.

07/05/2015 Sunday

Today is the first fast and testimony meeting that I got to go to since I was sick last month. Some returned missionaries showed up at the group in a white limo. It looked a little out of place next to the Amish wood shop we meet at.  The returned missionaries work for a member selling pest control. One of the elders, Elder Pike, was one of Elder Hill's zone leaders a few months back.

I felt I really needed to bear my testimony. The first Sunday I was here (05/31/15) Brother Hansen, the group leader, had sent a note to me through one of the primary kids during sacrament. The note was him asking me if I would bear my testimony. I replied I would, but I didn't get a chance to bear it. When it was Brother Hansen's turn to speak he had said there wasn't enough time, but that he mainly asked just to see if I was willing. Since then I wanted to bear testimony of my knowledge of being called of God to serve in Danville. When I got up to bear my testimony, I ended up feeling strongly prompted to share something else. With Elder Packer passing away a few days ago, I had been thinking about the words of our modern day prophets and how much I have taken them for granted. Those are servants called of God to receive revelation for the entirety of the church. "Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same" (D & C1:38). By not diligently studying and heeding their words, I am showing God that I do not value his word. I think this is the first time bearing my testimony that I have truly testified from the heart and through the power of the Holy Ghost.

After church Elder Hill and I had group coordination with Brother Weaver. After we were done meeting, Brother Weaver offered to take us on a buggy ride. Elder Hill hadn't been on a buggy ride before either, so we were both excited to go. Judy is the name of the horse that was leading the buggy. Brother Weaver had just shooed Judy earlier in the week because the kids wanted to take the buggy to church on Sundays. When he was shooing Judy, she wasn't behaving so Brother Weaver smacked her on the rear with his mallet (he assured us it wasn't with enough force to hurt her). Well, Judy was surprised enough that she started kicking and broke a smoke detector. These aren't just normal smoke detectors though, when these ones break they still signal to the fire department to respond. This happened when I was on exchanges, but Elder Hill heard the fire truck go by with its sirens on.

The buggy ride was really nice. I can't say that I prefer it to a car, but it was a fun experience. We followed the Mohican Valley Trail which passes through the Bridge of Dreams. On the trail we saw an Amish buggy that was  going a bit slower than we were. Brother Weaver pointed out to us that it was a "party buggy". Apparently sometimes the Amish youth sneak out when they should be working and drink in their buggies while they listen to music. In this case, they were listening to trashy music like Kesha. It was definitely interesting. We tried passing them, but they wouldn't pull over a few feet so we could get by them. Finally, Brother Weaver whistled LOUDLY, really loud. None of us were expecting that and it startled us, and Judy. I didn't know it was humanly possible to whistle that loud. The party buggy wasn't phased, but we eventually reached a point that was wide enough to pass them. The buggy ride ended up being about 45 minutes, it was a greatSunday afternoon activity.

07/06/2015 Monday

We had a district meeting this morning and the assistants to the president were present. Elder Hill was quite nervous to have them at the meeting. He felt we were going to be corrected on everything. I liked the meeting, I feel like the assistants were not overly bearing or judgemental. Sometimes it feels like Elder Hill just worries for no reason.
Lona sent us a wave of texts informing us that was dropping us again. This is the third or fourth time this has happened since she started investigating the church. We tried to calm her fears about the church, but I guess she just felt like we were pressuring her into baptism. The most important thing we can do now is still be a friend. to her. Brother Weaver has been a good fellow shipper throughout the time we have taught Lona and he told her that even if she doesn't join the church, he still wants to be a friend to her. 

In the evening we got another chance to help the Millers with hay.  This time we were able to help for 5 1/2 hours. There weren't as many people helping this time, but that was okay because the baler wasn't working fully.  It kept breaking down and was finally put out of commission when it hit a gopher hole.

We did finish in time to eat dinner with them. The younger Rodriguez siblings were helping to mix up some homemade ice cream as we finished up the last load of hay. The dinner was really good. We had pizza that had pork hot dogs sliced on it for the meat. It didn't taste like normal store bought hot dogs; they were better.

07/07/15  Tuesday

In the afternoon, we stopped by Myron Horner, a less active in the group. He is in a part of our area that we usually don't go to because of how far away it is from our residence. His trailer is about a quarter mile up a steep path through some trees. Today is a hot and quite humid day, so we were both sweating like crazy once we got to the top. It is almost like we were breaking the rule of not being allowed to swim; I hope to never have to sweat like that again on my mission. Myron is an older gentleman who doesn't have a vehicle and recently had leg surgery. While he may be classified as a less active, he would be at church if he could be.

Most of our day after that was crummy. No one was home that we tried to visit and it seemed like plan after plan was falling apart. It was a bit discouraging, but I like this happen.

The first Tuesday of every month is a geneology class over at the Troyer's house. We have been working with John and CeCe to fill a four generation pedigree chart in preparation for gathering names that they can take into the temple with them. Sadly, John and CeCe cancelled on us so we didn't get to go to the class. I was really looking forward to learning more about family history work, but I guess what I want isn't really as important as doing the Lord's work since I am on his errand.

07/08/15  Wednesday

Today is preparation day since it is transfer week.  We actually finished everything we needed to do early so we just relaxed in the residence for a couple of hours. Elder Hill crocheted a tie with the yarn I used to tie the Jolly Ranchers around his bed. The tie isn't appropriate for a missionary to wear, but it is a fun neon rainbow tie. I was working on memorizing a few algorithms for solving a Rubiks cube blindfolded. I enjoyed the time to relax for a bit. It was much needed for both of us.

We went over to talk to Henry Hochstetler. He has been working on some wooden name tags and a wooden samurai sword for some elders in the mission. The sword looks really cool, it has a cardinal carved  burned into one side of the hilt and a dragon on the other side.Henry is getting better with his dremel and carving skills.

For dinner, we ate over at Elder and Sister Price's house. The Hochstetler family joined us because the Prices are going home July 26th and they want to eat with all of the Amish families they got to know so well. Paul Hochstetler told some incredibly funny stories from his childhood about the kind of mischief him and his brothers got into. Most of the stories involved hooking up their spare motor to all kinds of things like wagons, buggies, and anything with wheels. The other stories he told were about the horses he had that he liked to run off so he would hitch something up to their harness and then spook them. One time he just tied a makeshift sled to the horse's tail. He sounds like he was a handful when he was a kid.