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

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