Thursday, June 25, 2015

We have a baptism coming up for John and Cece this Saturday. We just had their wedding last Saturday at Brother Weaver's barn/furniture store. They have been making a lot of progress and I can tell they are ready for baptism because of their willingness to keep the commitments we extend to them.

We went to the temple on Tuesday. I regret not going more before my mission, but I am glad I got to go so soon after coming out to Ohio. It was a good experience and will probably be Elder Hill's last time going to the temple on his mission unless we get an investigator to do baptisms for the dead.
I think I forgot to tell you about the welcome I received when I first got to Danville. The Mount Vernon Elders (Snyder and Janson) hid a bunch of dominoes in our house and left a sign that said "have an EXTRA nice transfer." The word EXTRA was replaced with a pack of extra gum. We have been looking for these dominoes for a while and just found the final one last Wednesday. Since we found them, Elder Hill wanted to repay the favor and hide them in their residence so he did thaton Thursday while we were on exchanges.
We did exchanges again on Thursday. This time I stayed in Danville and Elder Hill went to Mount Vernon. Elder Anderson came with me and since this is my area I get to drive. I haven't driven a car in nearly 6 weeks and it was kind of a weird experience. I also had to take the lead more in planning and teaching, so it was a good learning experience.

We have a taser in the residence that Elder Hill bought from a member having a garage sale. Elder Anderson is silly and asked me to taze him when we were on exchanges. He didn't like how the video we took turned out, so he asked me to taze him again in the morning. I think there may be something wrong with him. Elder Snyder also tased Elder Janson during the first week I was here. I would have thought missionaries would have more sense than to want to inflict pain on themselves.
I got to do some family history work for a few hours this week. I didn't like it at first since I wasn't really sure what I was doing. All of the branches of the tree were complete on FamilySearch except Grandpa Ron's parents. It kind of shocked me since he is so into family history work and compiled that 1000 page book on our ancestors. I found a 1940s census record that had his parents and siblings on it. The reason things weren't linked up is Grandpa Ron's record was showing up as "Ronald B Livingston" instead of "Ronald Burnell Livingston." I enjoyed trying to fix the holes in the family tree. I am surprised it wasn't all done with all of the members we have in the family. I saw that Kevin and Kathy have done a lot of the work for that side of the family. I also found a set of great-great-...-great grandparents from the 1700s on the Livingston side that were first cousins. That was kind of funny to find. Their names are James Livingston and Christina Livingston if you wanted to look them up in FamilySearch.

Now for the Q&A :)

Are you on your bike where ever you go?
I actually haven't had a chance to ride my bike. Elder Hill is missing a part that keeps his front tire on, so we have been driving everywhere. It has been kind of convenient not having to bike through all the rain we have been getting. Tropical Storm Bill affected us last Saturday and we got several inches of rain in a few hours. Some lawns looked like swimming pools. We have received either two or three flash flood warnings on our cell phone.

Will you send Elder Hill home from Danville? Will you leave the area when you send him home or will you have someone there before you transfer out?
We will likely stay in Danville for the full 12 weeks of my training then Elder Hill will go back home to Idaho. After he leaves I am guessing that I will stay for at least one transfer before I get moved somewhere else. I hope they don't double out this area, there are a lot of investigators that are making slow gradual progress and I wouldn't want that to be lost.

How are you enjoying the members? How many members do you have there on Sunday?
The members are great. Apparently Danville is one of the better areas for getting fed by members. Nearly every weekday we have a meal scheduled with a member. All of the food is home cooked too. We had a "Linger Longer" at church this week, which is the equivalent of the "Munch and Mingle" at the YSA ward in Lehi. There was quite a bit of food and nearly all of it was cooked by the families that used to be Amish. We usually have 60-70 people at the group (the one that meets at the wood shop) and around 40ish meet at the Mount Vernon Ward building. It is kind of interesting having a ward that is split like this.

Do they have you busy at church as missionaries?
We don't do that much extra in church. We switch off teaching the Gospel Principles class every week for Sunday School. Other than that it is just a normal church service.
Love you all.
Elder King
Ohio Columbus Mission

We made strawberry jello with bananas and whipped cream (which we made ourselves from mixing heaving whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla) for John and Cece's wedding. Elder Hill had never made jello before.

Outside the Columbus Temple

A bird pooped on me after we tried knocking delivering cookies to a less active family.

Picture of the Bridge of Dreams in Brinkhaven about 2 miles east of Danville.

Elder Hill and I baked some cookies to take to investigators and less active families.

Elder Anderson getting ready to leave after exchanges. He packed his bag with a bunch of EmergenCs  that were sent in a care package to Elder Evans forever ago.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

On Wednesdays, every other week, we have a softball game over in the Troyer's field. There are horses that are normally in the field, but they just move to beyond the outfield. We try to invite a lot of the less active members and investigators that would not normally come if it was just a church event. By getting people to be more involved in the community it helps to fellowship re-activate/fellowship people to coming to church more. The mission president has asked that we do not participate in playing any sports since it is not our P-day. This gives us a chance to talk to people that show up though.

After the softball game, we went to visit a new investigator named Chris. He has really impressed us with his curiosity about the gospel. Only two days after inviting him to read the Book of Mormon, he read all of 1st and 2nd Nephi. He spends more time reading the scriptures in a day than we have, so it has been interesting trying to keep up so we can discuss his reading progress with him. Chris is really open minded and I feel like he is going to be baptized eventually.
Chris told us a funny story about how he used to be in the band in high school playing the clarinet. One day, during a concert performance, he brought his harmonica. Part way through the song he changed to playing the harmonica instead of the clarinet. The conductor started having a furious look on his face since he isn't facing the audience, but he couldn't stop the musical number because it would look bad. So he just was fuming the entire time and Chris was able to play harmonica in a school performance. Afterwards he was kicked out of the band, but Chris says it was worth it.

We did some more hauling hay. This time we were unloading it from the trailers instead of loading it onto the trailers. We stacked the bales in a barn that had zero ventilation. We were all breathing the stuff. It is a good thing none of us have allergy problems. Every few minutes we would have to leave the barn to get some fresh air. By the time we were done, there was hay covering us from head to toe (look at the picture of me after I took my watch off to see how covered we were.) For the next 1-2 days Elder Hill and I were finding hay after blowing our noses.

 Softball in the Brother Troyer's field

A wooden toy rocking motorcycle in Brother Weaver's furniture store. 

Some handmade amish dolls and quilt made in Pennsylvania. This is also in Brother Weaver's store.

0131 Elder Hill up in a trailer of hay as we helped Brother Weaver haul the hay into Brother Troyer's barn.

This was on June 12th, the first night I actually got to cook. I made curry of course.

 Livingston avenue over in Pickerington at Karen's Baptism.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

On Wednesday we got our iPads. We have not really been told what to do with them, we just have them now. We try and share Mormon Messages on them, but other than that we don't really use them for much. We have been told we will eventually get to use Facebook on them to contact investigators, so I guess I will have to make an account again. We don't have WiFi in the residence though, so we have to drive over to the elementary school a few blocks away to mooch off their WiFi.
We have been doing a lot of service this week. Thursday I don't think we taught a single lesson; we were just too busy helping others. Thursday and Friday we spent 4-5 hours each day helping the Shores move. They didn't really have everything packed up and ready to move out so we kind of had to sit there and wait for work to do sometimes. We had 4 other elders from our district there helping too, so not a lot of missionary work was getting done in that time. The other service we did was weeding at the Hochstetler's for a few hours and digging out some sod for flowerbeds at the Danville Commons apartment complex behind our residence. We also helped an older lady switch the beds between her guest and master bedrooms. Both beds were king size beds with large wooden frames.
The amish families have had a stomach flu going around and my companion caught it Saturday. He threw up in the middle of the night but okay by morning. I caught the flu too yesterday (Sunday) and threw up at 1AM and again when I woke up at around 7AM. We weren't able to go to church because I didn't want to get anyone else sick and I had no energy. I think all of the service we did Thursday/Friday weakened us so that the sickness effected us more.

We also helped an amish family move some hay bales into their barn. A lot of the amish families want nothing to do with the missionaries and will turn us away if we show up on their door, so it is good we got a chance to serve them. We are hoping this turns into an opportunity to teach them later.

Thank you for sending your emails this week. I have enjoyed hearing from you. I hope you like the pictures I have sent and I will try to continue taking pictures so that everyone at home can see the fun experiences I am having.

MTC District at the temple

 I found King Road just a few miles outside of Danville.

Helping an Amish family move hay bales

Helping an Amish family move hay bales

A giant chair outside Brother Weaver's furniture store

Some pictures of our residence.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Dear Family,

I forgot my camera at the house so I will have to send the pictures with next weeks e-mail. I am attaching a couple photos. One that one of the members around here took and one from my companion's camera. I am fairly sure the member took the photo before they knew I was coming to Ohio.

Ohio has been great. I am in the Danville area, it is basically right in the heart of Amish country. I am in a small town where everyone knows each other. The population is around 900 people. We meet in an Amish family's woodshop for church since they are too far away from the main church building in Mt. Vernon.

My companion is Elder Hill. So together we are "King of the Hill". He will be my trainer for the next 12 weeks then he is going home to Idaho. I really like his positive attitude.

We were out tracting a couple days ago and it started to rain. We thought it was light enough rain that we would just keep going. Before we got done talking to the next person, the rain turned into a downpour. We got completely drenched and had to go back home to change before our dinner appointment. The raindrops here are a lot bigger here than in Utah. The attached picture is us right after we got back to the residence before we changed out of the wet clothes.

We had a nerf war for our district activity today. We used PVC pipes as blow darts. It was fun to do an activity together.