Tuesday, April 19, 2016

April 18th, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

I have learned some ways to work with Elder Low better this week. In
companionship inventory we talked through some things, but there is
still more contention than I would like in our companionship. He said
being junior companion is taking some adjusting to after being senior
companion for so long. Also, he doesn't like when people tell him what
to do. I am trying not to be bossy or be overbearing, and he says I am
not being like that. He just shuts down when he is told to do
something and he will basically do the opposite. Things aren't
perfect, but we are making progress.

In District Meeting, we learned about how to better work with members.
I enjoyed the roleplay which involved sharing an experience from our
mission then inviting the members to fast and pray for missionary
opportunities and the work in the area. We also learned how to better
teach those with a non-Christian background. I learned that it is
really important to go slow and check for understanding throughout the
lesson. Really, that principle could apply to a lot of teaching

Saturday, we were able to attend a baptism for Michael, the Lewis
Center Sister's investigator. We invited the Carson family and they
enjoyed being to a baptism again. They haven't attended a baptism
since their own. I think this is a good reminder for them that will
help them as they move closer to their daughter's (Alyssa) baptism. We
wanted to extend a baptismal date to Alyssa, but since she will be
baptized by her dad we wanted to get the bishop's input first. Brother
Carson met with the bishop Sunday to discuss when he will be able to
baptize Alyssa and he told us it probably won't be for a couple
months. So there is a possibility that I am transferred before the
baptism, but oh well.

Have a great week, everyone!

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

Sunday, April 17, 2016

April 11th, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

District Meeting was great this past week. I am impressed with the
quality of the teaching Elder Gardner gave for this being his first
district meeting. Elder Gardner is a phenomenal district leader and he
is leading by example to help us develop District Charity. We are put
in our areas and districts for a reason. We are not in our areas just
to help investigators, our testimonies can also strengthen those in
our district.

We did weekly planning at the mission home this week because there was
an elder that went to he ER in the middle of the night and needed a
day to recover. Being the closest elders, we got to be the ones to
"babysit" him. Being able to do weekly planning at the mission home
this week was really helpful though. The previous weeks it has been
difficult to keep Elder Low's focus on planning. I think there were
less distractions for him at the mission home and we were able to make
some really solid plans for this week. I get frustrated when I seem to
be the only one driving us to stay focused.

This has been the main reason I have been trying to work on being more
patient as I listened to conference. Sometimes I feel like I am the
only one motivated to work. I know that we all have our weaknesses and
it is unfair to expect perfection of others, but at times I feel like
I am trying to walk a mile to change myself and all I need is Elder
Low to move a foot. Part of this may come because I feel like I am bad
at voicing my concerns. I don't want to cause contention and I know
that Elder Low gets rather defensive when I ask him to change. So
usually I don't say anything and I let my companions get under my skin
to the point where I let the anger bubble up inside. I know it isn't
Christlike to hold onto anger and I am working to focus on "looking
for the good" as President Utchdorf said in priesthood session. I try
to ignore the problem if it is a personality difference, but even that
can be really difficult at times.

Despite disagreements, I have seen many tender mercies of the Lord
this week. These are things that people would normally call
coincidences, but I know I can see the hand of the Lord in my life.
Elder Low and I were visiting some potentials we didn't know in our
areabook and we stopped by Grant's house, someone that Elder Low had
taught over a year ago when he was on exchanges. His sister answered
and Elder Low was able to catch up with her. Grant stopped meeting
with missionaries before because his work schedule was hectic. Grant's
sister informed us that just last week Grant switched careers entirely
and his schedule has completely changed. We hope to set up a lesson
with him this week.

We also talked to Susan, another investigator that missionaries were
unable to contact after a return appointment fell through. When we
talked with her she was still interested and wondered why missionaries
hadn't followed up after the last meeting was cancelled. We have a
lesson with her scheduled for tomorrow and I am excited to see how
interested she is in our message.

Another tender mercy that happened this week is that we got a call
from Sister Carson letting us know that her husband wants to start
being active in the church again. He wants to take the missionary
lessons and wants to work towards baptizing their nine year old
daughter, Alyssa. This took us completely by surprise. Brother Carson
has never shown any sign of interest whenever we stop by. I think
Sister Carson starting to come back to church and their daughter,
Andrea, bringing Oscar (her boyfriend, another investigator) to church
has softened his heart. Most of the Carson family came to church this
week. It has been nearly a year since Brother Carson attended. The
ward did a good job welcoming him. Fast and testimony meeting was also
a great week for him to decide to come back. I am excited to see their
family grow closer together as they all embrace the gospel.

President Daines called our district and another district to meet at
the mission home to talk about contention in the zone at the last zone
training meeting. The discussion has helped me to see how I can better
help our companionship. President Daines put things in perspective by
saying that most goals going forward are interdependent. We need other
people to be able to accomplish more. Growing up, most goals people
have revolve around themselves and not accomplishing that goal they
only have themselves to blame. With interdependent goals, it is a team
effort and no one is to blame when a goal is not met. I need to learn
how to better work with others. This requires trusting in others and
also not doubting their abilities to do great things.

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

Monday, April 4, 2016

April 4th, 2016

Dear Family,

In Zone Training Meeting last week, I really enjoyed the roleplay
where we extend baptism, then help discover/resolve the investigator's
concern. During the roleplays, we weren't able to find either concern,
but through listening intently we were able to help resolve the
concern. When listening to the spirit in a lesson, we can have a
greater impact that we may realize. The spirit can work through us to
help others. Something I wanted to work on going into the training was
how to have more faith in inspired goals. I learned to not give up if
the names behind the goal drop off. The goal that was set is still
inspired, and so we should keep working diligently.

Through each of the sessions of General Conference this past weekend,
I have been reflecting on the points that are being repeated by the
apostles. The thing that stood out the most was that D&C 121 was
quoted in almost every session. There was also a big emphasis on love
for others, which is demonstrated through service, forgiveness, and
rescuing the lost sheep.

The past couple of days, I have been working to apply what I am
learning from conference. The things I have been working on the most
are developing patience with others and listening to the spirit. There
were many talks that felt like they were direct instruction for me.
Watching conference on my mission has been so much more fruitful
because of preparing beforehand with questions to which I am earnestly
seeking answers. I know that the Lord reaches out to us as we prepare
and are listening. Applying what I learn, right after learning it has
also helped me to change faster and gain an instant testimony of the
words of the apostles and prophet.

Have a great week and look for opportunities to share what you learned
at conference with those around you.

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

Sunday, April 3, 2016

March 28th, 2016

Dear Family,

Elder Marvin is home now and Elder Low is my new companion. He is from
San Diego, California. He has four siblings. He is a really hard
worker and has been great to work with so far.

I am grateful for the opportunity to stretch myself as I take over
this area. This week has been stressful and has taken some adjusting
to make everything work. Last transfer there were three of us to get
the work done and I didn't realize how much having a third person
helps with the transfer week tasks. Elder Low is doing a great job
learning the various tasks. He isn't very confident in his abilities
since he doesn't have much prior experience, but I haven't noticed him
stumble over any task he has been given. I am optimistic that in
working with Elder Low, we will be able to make a positive change in
this area. Elder Low has a strong drive and is working hard to be the
best missionary he can be.

This Sunday has been one of the best Sunday's in the mission for me.
We were one short of our goal of investigators at church for the month
and the one that came two weeks ago, Oscar, had already said he
wouldn't be able to come. Saturday night we get a text from the family
he came with that he actually is coming and I was so excited. I had
been praying the last few days for us to be able to get ahold of him
and that any obstacles preventing him from coming would go away. I had
felt bad that I haven't been able to be out inviting a lot of people
to church for the past few days, because transfers had been keeping
our days packed, but the Lord provided a way and did all the work to
make Oscar be able to come to church again.

Elder Low and I were able to get ahold of a less active member, Sam,
that I have been wanting to get ahold of for weeks now. He has
expressed to us in the past that he was working on getting his papers
submitted. Elder Marvin had started texting him each morning with an
inspirational text to motivate him to work on his papers, but Sam
eventually stopped replying to us and stopped coming to church. I was
starting to worry so we would stop by Sunday mornings to invite and
encourage him to come to church. This was the third Sunday in a row of
stopping by, and after a lot of prayer, this was the time that he
answered. He still wants to work on getting his mission papers
submitted, so we are committing him to complete smaller steps of his
papers so that he will eventually be able to serve. I have gained an
even greater testimony of prayer this week as it has kept me going. I
know that this is the Lord's work and nothing happens without His
help. President Daine's advise to pray as if success depends on the
Lord, and work as if success depends on you has stuck with me. In
working closer to President Daines I have picked up many life lessons
and strengths to my testimony as a result of his wonderful example.

The Columbus Ohio East Stake had an Easter fireside yesterday that I
got to help with the tech work for the audio equipment. I am so
grateful that the videos worked and we didn't have any technical
difficulties come up at all. Other than the five minutes leading up to
the program starting where we were running around like chickens with
our heads chopped off to get the projector working, everything ran
really smoothly. That was probably the most stressful part of this
week. Now that I have participated in running the audio for a musical
fireside, I have a better idea of what preparations we will need to
make beforehand so that we aren't rushing to get everything set up at
the last second.

President Daine's guidance for us as tech elders to be more
informative rather than instructive has been really helpful in how I
interact with other missionaries. We are to inform, but we are not to
tell anyone to do anything or report anything directly to us. Whether
it is tech support calls or mission-wide emails, knowing my position
has helped me better know when I can help and when I can better direct
others to the proper source of authority. Usually a district leader or
office couple would be better with dealing with those kind of
situations anyway. I imagine this has parallels to how church
authority works in other church callings at the stake and ward level
and I like how on the mission I am able to learn more about how all
these processes work.

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

Here is a companionship photo of Elder Low and I. Sorry it isn't a
full picture of us, I realized today that we haven't taken any photos
together and all photos I have of him don't have his face in the

We had dinner and FHE with the Knight family last Monday. They have a
son on a mission currently.

Elder Long, the vehicle coordinator, had the office watch some van
training videos for the fifteen passenger van. The assistants weren't
too thrilled to be there for two and a half hours.

March 21st, 2016

Dear Family,

This week, Elder Winkler, Elder Marvin, and I were able to have a
meeting with Sister Hunter in the ward about JustServe projects in the
area. She gave us some good direction on where we can find some more
potential projects since we only have a couple feasible projects in
our area. The JustServe program has been great for giving missionaries
opportunities to serve in the community instead of just doing service
for the same members all the time.

Elder Winkler got mid-cycle transferred on Wednesday to Huber Heights.
There were three elders that went home and Elder Winkler was needed to
fill in for one of them. So now it is just Elder Marvin and I in the
apartment. We were all really surprised that he left one week before
the transfer ended.

With Elder Winkler leaving in the middle of the week, our timeframe
for documentation got pushed up. Elder Marvin and I were able to get a
lot of tasks thoroughly documented, so hopefully there isn't anything
we missed.

We have been doing a survey of all the commissary items in the mission
(Book of Mormons, pass along cards, restoration DVDs, etc.) All areas
have sent in their commissary surveys. There are a LOT of extra items
out in all the areas. We hope to use this information for assisting
Sister Brower, one of the office missionaries, with commissary orders
when she doesn't have enough supply of a certain item. The results of
the survey could also be used to assess about how many of each
commissary item each area should have if we would like to try
collecting some of the items back to the office.

There are a few different iPad issues we have been able to fix this
week. We are in contact with several ward clerks that are trying to
relocate funds for missionaries that claim to have paid for their
iPads. After this week we will have more to report on which
missionaries we haven't resolved payment issues for. We were about
ready to ship Sister Clark's iPad back to her and then we noticed
there were a lot of dead pixels at the bottom of the screen. We took
her iPad to the Apple Store and were able to get her a brand new
replacement one under the warranty before we shipped it. Also, we
found Sister Morgan's iPad (which has been unaccounted for all
transfer) in the stack of unlabeled loaner iPads, so we will be
shipping that one to her once her ward clerk figures out the payment.

This week is transfer week, so things are about to get a lot busier. I
will also be getting a new tech elder and I will probably be senior
companion. I have only dealt with the tasks for the first few days
after transfers once, so hopefully I am able to remember everything
that needs to be done.

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

Our companionship with Elder Hartung, one of the senior missionaries
in the office.

The Lewis Center / Polaris / Powell district at our last district
meeting of the transfer.

-Elder Marvin "studying" at the desk we moved out after Elder Winkler left.

Our St. Patrick's Day meal of "corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes".
Sister Fife made us Reuben sandwiches with sauerkraut and potato
chips. Her family is Scottish and this is her more modern version of a
classic meal.

Elder Peterson, one of the Assistants, getting attacked by a dog.

March 14th, 2016

Dear Family,

It feels really good to have another PDay so soon. With how long we
had until the last PDay, a lot of missionaries are feeling burnt out.
I am even hoping to get a nap in today. The mission is kind of like
swimming, every once in a while you need to come up for air. If you
stay underwater for too long without coming up for air, then you start
to lose your strength, maybe even drown. Being in the office we see
right when other missionaries go home, and the reason a lot go home is
due to not being able to handle the pressure of a mission. The mission
may be difficult, but it is worth it. The principle of sacrifice that
you learn helps you better prioritize the important things later in

Often we make life more complicated for ourselves, and a lot of the
stress can be eliminated by removing more from our busy day rather
than trying to squeeze more in. There is a great talk in the May 1992
Ensign entitled, Unclutter your Life. I invite you to read it and
ponder what in your day is "cluttering" your life. I know that I have
seen for myself the value in placing emphasis on family history when I
have had to rest. I could be selfish and take the time to have a break
from the busy day, but serving others has been more rewarding than if
I had just wasted the time. The spirit will speak to our hearts the
things we must change, if we are willing to ask the Father sincerely
for help in decluttering our lives.

In district meeting I learned that, when sharing a video, I don't have
to use the same approach of "what did you get out of that video?" I
can go right into teaching and testifying, then asking an inspired
question. Elder Winkler, Elder Marvin, and I gave a training on how to
improve companion study. We mentioned three main points that chapter 2
of Preach my Gospel covers: 1. Companion study invites the spirit; 2.
Companion study strengthens the companionship; and 3. Companion study
teaches us how to strengthen our investigators.

We were able to get an investigator, Oscar, to church. He came with a
less active family that we had been trying to get to church for a
while. He really seemed to enjoy the meeting and had lots of questions
he was asking. During Sunday school he ended up in the mission prep
class with the other people his age and got a crash course in the
first three missionary lessons. We are hoping to get in for a lesson
with him this week.

Elder Marvin has been holding up really well for going home in a
little over a week. He still has a good drive to work and hasn't
really been showing any signs of being "trunky". It will be sad seeing
him leave after such a short time, since we have become good friends.

One thing I have learned this week is the power of personal
experiences. I would love to hear some experiences from all of you of
how you know that a certain principle is true. It could be tithing,
service, keeping the sabbath day holy, or any principle that you have
a personal testimony of. I know that as we share our experiences with
others they can relate to us better and they feel the genuine warmth
that the gospel brings.

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

This is our quest board we made. We were looking for a way to make
weekly planning more fun so we turned all our tasks into an RPG where
we get experience points for accomplishing missionary work tasks and
are then rewarded when we level up (reaching our goals). This has been
really fun so far, it has been motivating us to try harder every day.

Our district at the temple.

Our companionship at the temple. You can see by my "smile" that I was
done taking pictures in the rain and I wanted to leave.

March 10th, 2016

Dear Family,

In zone training meeting, I learned I need to set daily and weekly
goals for Book of Mormon reading, study habits, and other things I
want to accomplish. President Daines gave some advice to break tasks
down and set a pace so we don't miss our mark. Elder Bauman, our zone
leader, asked us to ponder what the Lord is waiting on us to do to
come unto Him. This has really got me thinking about what more I can
do in my service to the Lord. God is ready and willing to bless us, we
have to take the action and show God we want those blessings.

This week we had the opportunity to bring the commissary orders to MLC
(missionary leadership council where all the zone leaders and sister
training leaders are taught by President in preparation for zone
training meetings). It was a fun experience. We had a lot to do that
day and I am surprised we were able to fit everything. We sent out a
survey looking for extra commissary and made a spreadsheet from the
responses. There is a lot of extra commissary out in the mission that
could be redistributed instead of ordering more. There is a lot even
with only a quarter of the mission responding. We noticed a lot of
areas have extra foreign language items that have been left over for
months. We have found that most missionaries don't know that they
should send back extra commissary they don't need.

We were able to send the old phones back to sprint as part of the
their buyback program. The box of phones and ended up being 48lbs.
with all the Chargers and batteries. Luckily, Sprint pays for the
shipping. We also sent some of the excess loaner iPads back to the
missionary department. Last, we shipped iPads back to a couple
missionaries that went home early because they are paid for and reset
now. We had to take three trips to Fedex because we kept forgetting
some piece of information for sending the packages.

This week we were able to participate in a JustServe project.
JustServe is a program the church is doing that allows non-profit
organizations to reach out to church members that are looking for
opportunities to serve in their area. We went to the Smoky Row Food
Pantry. We were mostly sorting clothes and food and it was a good
experience to show members of another faith that we want to be
involved in helping the community. When we showed up to serve, there
were already the Lewis Center and Polaris elders serving. There are
not many projects in our area. We may need to coordinate with each
other who is serving where so that we don't overwhelm the people we
serve with too many missionaries.

Most of the office couples have been sick this week. I think most of
them are over it now though. We have been trying to contact a lot of
potentials and referrals to invite to church Sunday, but haven't had
much success. We keep getting referrals, but none of them are
answering, so they are stacking up. Saturday was really dead for
contacting, it was like Powell was a ghost town. We have heard similar
experiences from other missionaries near us.

I really enjoyed the chance we have had to join together and
participate in a mission-wide fast. This experience has definitely
increased my faith and given me a greater testimony of the power of
fasting. The Savior is able to work on us more when we give place in
our hearts for the seed to grow as we learn in Alma 32.

We were able to have exchanges with our district leader, Elder
Johnson. He is really funny and is great at motivating others. He
really cares for those in his district. Elder Marvin went to Polaris
with Elder Peterson, a newer trainee, while Elder Winkler and I stayed
in Powell with Elder Johnson. Elder Johnson said he had a lot of fun
on the exchange. He is kind of jealous of the trio companionship we
have since we get along really well and make the work fun.

After we got done with the exchange, we had non-stop work that we had
to do. We were able to call the missionary department in Salt Lake
City and we were on a thirty minute tech support call trying to figure
out why the report numbers from IMOS were inconsistent. We were
waiting for their engineers to figure out the problem, but we still
had the stake reports due that evening. We ended up working late
entering the key indicator numbers from all the areas. By the time we
finished it was 11:30pm and we got to bed around midnight because we
had to pack for an exchange with the zone leaders the next day.

We had to get up early for the exchange with the zone leaders, Elders
Bauman and Brown. We have had a recent change to exchanges where we go
to the zone leader's area and we all work their area instead on one
companionship staying in our area. I learned a lot from the exchange.
Elder Marvin and I were with Elder Bauman and Elder Winkler went with
Elder Brown.

I am glad we got to the temple today; we just got back. A ward member
told us that in his mission they didn't even get to go to the temple.
President Packer visited his mission and said that their mission is a
time to focus on helping the living, all the rest of their lives will
be focused on helping the dead. Although that may be true, I
appreciate and am grateful for the opportunity to fell the spirit and
the rest from the world that the temple provides.

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

-Elder Winkler deactivating some of the old Sprint phones before we
sent them back.

-Elder Marvin sleeping on President Daines' desk in the office. This
was when we were in the office late and we took turns have two people
at a time work on the numbers.

-When we had the mission-wide fast, Elder Marvin put this up to block
the kitchen.