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