Tuesday, July 5, 2016

July 4th, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

During some time tracting early this week, Elder Low suggested we use
the time between doors to practice the how to begin teaching bullet
points. I felt like this made a difference in the quality of our
contacts because we would end up using those points in the first few
moments talking with people. The contacts flowed better because we
were treasuring up in our mind what we could share, and it was being
given to us in the moment we needed it.

Elder Low and I have been making an extra effort to work with ward
members this week. We want to build off of the trust we have already
established and work to earn more referrals. We went to visit the
Hiibner's, a part-member family, with Brother Wilkerson and there may
be some opportunities for service there. We also met the Peter's, who
just moved into our apartment complex and are really awesome. I think
the Peter's are an example of prayers that are being met for praying
people into the ward, as the bishop talked about.

In Zone Training Meeting, I learned the importance of helping members
be prepared to meet an investigator that will be attending church so
that the investigator can have a spiritual experience. It is more than
just asking them to say hello or sit with the investigator. They can
help answer questions, guide them to the next class, and connect
personally to these people that don't yet have friends in the church.
We also had a lot of fun practicing different awkward contacting
situations. I have had several "awkward contacts" this week that I
didn't give up on, but I kept teaching and testifying of Christ for
just a bit longer. I haven't seen a lot of results out of it yet, but
I have had some of these people open up more than they would have if
we had just ended the contact. I am sure there will be a time that we
will see a new investigator come out of one of these situations.

Here is one of those awkward contacts we had the evening following our
zone training meeting. There was a couple women that just drove into
their driveway across the street and I was about to just keep walking.
Then I had the thought come to mind that we just talked about
embracing the awkward, so I think to myself "what's the worst that
could happen?" and go over to talk to them. The contact started off
with asking how their day has been and one of the women replied that
it had been a poopy day (language paraphrased to protect your precious
eyes). I asked if there was any way we could help brighten their day.
No real response, so I testified how the atonement helps us deal with
the challenges and problems we all face (How to Begin Teaching #2).
Things got more awkward as they weren't really listening to what I had
said and they said they weren't interested. After we had ended the
contact and said goodbye an older man came out and said "I worship
Satan." That was a great cherry on top of the awkward contact. We may
not have a new investigator out of it, but I would not have that
experience to share if I had just walked by.

We met a potential investigator, Bridget, on Friday. She is going to a
Christian school and has taken some theology courses. Since she had
more of a background with religious history, we were able to adapt
teaching the apostasy and restoration to helping her see the need for
a restoration. She has some excellent questions she asked, and she
said she wants to know more about Joseph Smith and why we believe he
was a prophet.

 We had an interesting set of lessons with some potentials from our
areabook, Brandy and Tim. We taught Brandy as she was in her garage
for a while, then as she went inside and we were leaving her husband
walked up and we taught him for a while. I know preach my gospel says
to teach families, but I don't think it means teach them individually,
so hopefully the next lesson will be with them together. Also, a lot
of the lessons we have seem to be on the restoration, and I can't seem
to figure out how to get investigators interested enough to progress
to having the next lesson.

This week, I had the privilege of going on an exchange with Elder
Gardner. We worked in Powell together this time. We did some impromptu
street contacting, in a neighborhood I have never worked, while we
were walking to a few different potential investigators. There were a
lot of friendly people outside working in their yards. I want to try
finding more occasions where we can find people out and about, because
they seemed friendlier than when we knock on their doors. We had a few
lessons with some people we met, Larry and Eric. We also met a
less-active member, Sister Pirtle, who we have been trying to reach
for a couple months now. She said she would be going with her parents
to the Hayden Run Ward this week, but she wants to start coming back
to church. I am excited to work with her. This is also a great time to
bring members and "strike while the iron is hot" to help find
fellowship in welcoming her back.

From fast and testimony meeting, I can see the ward is continuing to
shift its focus to member missionary work since the testimonies
included experiences with working with their friends or coworkers. In
Elder's quorum, the lesson also started off with everyone sharing
where they served their mission and where they want to go when they
serve again. For Elder Low and I, it was fairly obvious where we
served our missions. There was only one person that hadn't served a
mission yet. This made me realize how important it is to draw on the
experiences they have had on their missions to motivate them to
continue to reach out as a member missionary.

Have a happy 4th of July!

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

June 27th, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

The main takeaway from District Meeting this week was to make sure
when sharing testimony, it should be more heartfelt and sincere, not
rote. I feel like this meeting has helped me recognize more the need
to ponder what I really believe, and why I believe in these
principles. Building a testimony needs to be an active thing, not just
something that comes as you do all the things you are supposed to do.

In District Meeting, we also had some time to share a couple quotes
from church leaders. The first quote I shared was from Richard G.
Scott, who said, "Patience with others is love. Patience with yourself
is hope. Patience with God is faith." The other quote I shared is from
Elder Hildebrandt, who was an assistant to the president. In his
departing testimony he said, "If the savior could take one more step,
face one more rejection, reach out to one more person, then He can
give me the strength to do the same." I love these quote because it
helps me put my trials in perspective. Nothing we face is harder than
what the Savior endured for each and every one of us. As we endure our
afflictions, we acquire the attributes of God and are able to become
truly like Him.

The Ward Council seems to be really excited from the feedback received
at the Stake Missionary Meeting we had on Tuesday with the stake
president. The whole feel of that meeting was different than it has
been in the past. I can see that the council members are motivated to
reach out to those in their stewardships and help them catch the
vision of getting members to the temple.

Going to the temple this week has been a great opportunity to grow my
faith in the principle of personal revelation. I really appreciate
President Daines' comments about not just looking for an answer that
fits out expectations, but an answer that is the will of God. In my
experience in the temple, I found that to be true, where the answer to
some of my questions were not straightforward, but more along the
lines of answering the question "What lack I yet?". When we are
looking for guidance on how we can help someone progress in the
gospel, sometimes the answer to our question is that we need to
further our conversion and obedience before we can lift someone to do
the same.

We found out that a couple of the computers in the office were on a
completely different network than the rest of the office. They were
hooked up right to the Internet instead of going through the church's
filter system. After looking at the jumble of wires in the utility
room, we discovered it was because all of the ports were used up. The
assistants asked us to purchase and Install a network switch to fix
the problem. I am surprised we didn't catch this problem sooner,
because it explains all of the weird problems we kept having with
those computers.

Elder Low has been making some great progress this week. His efforts
to teach and testify more sincerely have really impressed me. In
addition to furthering his teaching efforts, he has been showing more
of a desire to expand his skills with technology. It seemed that the
problem was a lack of confidence. I have been helping him see that if
he starts with the fundamentals and builds line upon line, then he
will get to where he want to be. He has also been more proactive
rather than reactive in his efforts to learn, which has helped him to
pick up more about how to use excel.

This week, I was able to go on an exchange with Elder Gee. He has been
in the mission for about two weeks now and this was his first
exchange. He is very hard worker and kept going even when he was
exhausted. He didn't ever complain. I think we may have pushed
ourselves a little too hard though, because we were both fairly
dehydrated by the end of the day. We should probably bring water with
us the next time we have that much finding planned on a hot day.

On Sunday, our day was so packed with meetings and driving that we
barely had time to stop moving. We had both Ward coordination and
council meetings in the morning, then church, then we helped with the
Columbus South Stake musical fireside. If it hadn't been for a
wonderful family in our Ward that dropped off dinner at the church for
us, then we likely wouldn't have time for meals. The fireside was
patriotic themed and was a really great experience. The musical
numbers were very spiritual and everyone did an amazing job. We didn't
have any technical difficulties either, which was a nice bonus. On the
drive back from the fireside, there was a really intense storm. We had
our windshield wipers going at full blast and we still couldn't see.
There was thunder and lighting going on around us from every
direction. The sky kept lighting up as if it were day. The storm made
the drive a little longer, but we made it back safely.

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

June 20th, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

We were able to meet with Grant again is week. He said that after
reading the Book of Mormon passage we gave him, he made a decision
without really realizing it. Looking back on the experience he
realized he had chosen a good thing over a bad thing. He feels he is
being led to make good choices. I can see that reading in the Book of
Mormon and applying what he learns is helping him to have less
disposition to do evil.

We had a dinner teaching appointment with Walter and Terri, some
really friendly investigators we met a couple weeks back. We brought
Brother Pohmer with us because they have a similar religious
background. Brother Pohmer definitely helped relate to Walter and will
be a good fellowshipper for them. We probably won't be teaching Walter
anymore though because we ended up needing to be really bold with our
invitation to read the Book of Mormon and Walter wants to stay where
he is at. He thinks that as long as you know your destination it
doesn't matter which highway you take to drive there. We will follow
up with Brother Pohmer every couple weeks to see if Walter decides to
reach out since they got along so well.

Wednesday, helping the arriving missionaries with setting up their
iPads went a lot better this transfer. We had revised the instruction
sheet so that it was simpler and in a different order. The only
problem that we had was that Sister Pead turned on her iPad and it
didn't have the church restrictions setup, so we had to give her
another iPad. When she turned that iPad on it also didn't have the
church restrictions. So we got a third iPad (I turned it on just in
case Sister Pead had more bad luck and because we didn't have anymore
spare iPads) which thankfully worked.

After helping with iPads, we worked on the picture by zone that we
needed to send out that night before transfers in the morning.
President Daines didn't have all of the transfer assignments settled,
so we ended up getting sent away to the other room again to "take a
nap" while President Daines finished the board. President Daines
couldn't really decide on whether or not he wanted to transfer Elder
Low to Mansfield or leave him in Powell. Prior, in the morning, we
were told he was leaving and so he started packing. Now that President
was done with the board, he settled on keeping him in Powell, but said
that he might transfer him in a week. I think he may be toying with us
and we have no idea when, if at all, a transfer will happen. After we
were done and we got back to the apartment, we got to bed at 2AM. A
new tech elder record for me!

Transfers went fairly smooth on Thursday. Despite not having the
Brower's, there were a couple of zone leaders that stayed and offered
their help so that there wasn't as much of a burden on the mission
office staff.

Friday, before we started updating the assignment histories on the
back of the transfer board cards, President Daines said he only wants
me to write on the cards because he can't read Elder Low's
handwriting. That kind of irked Elder low a bit and messed with our
schedule because now we had to find something for him to do while I
wrote the assignment histories (which will take twice as long now.)

I have been trying to make companion studies more effective because
lately some studies just turn into tangent upon tangent and I want to
get back to studying doctrine. I have been trying to use the mission
study plan and Preach my Gospel more to focus our studies, but have
been facing some resistance from Elder Low when suggesting different
things we study.

All of the "study and discuss" sections from the fundamentals lessons
have been really painful to go through and there is a lot of dead air.
I can barely get him to offer more than a one word answer or half a
sentence without needing to coax more involvement out of him. I know
he has more insights to share and I have heard lots of great things
from him in the past. I don't know if he is just not wanting to try
the fundamentals because he feels the principles are so basic and
obvious that they are not worth discussing. Maybe there is something
more I can be doing to make these fundamentals interesting and

In Sacrament Meeting, Elder Low and I were able to stand in on the
confirmation for Alyssa Carson. Her baptism was Saturday and the
bishop, stake president, mission president, and former bishop were all
there. It was funny to see how much priesthood leadership showed up
for a nine-year-old's Baptism. The baptism went really well though,
and the Carson's are now preparing to go to the temple.

Instead of having speakers in Sacrament Meeting this week, the meeting
was opened up to the congregation to come up and share about a hymn
that has influenced their life. After their comments, the congregation
would sing the first and last verses of the hymn. It was an
interesting meeting, probably the most unique sacrament meeting I have

After church, the Relief Society brought in a lot of pies for the
elder's quorum and high priests for Father's Day. There were a lot of
pies and it was really nice of them to go through all that effort.

We didn't have a dinner planned, so Bishop Stevenson invited us over
to dinner at his house where they were grilling some food for a get
together with some family and a family from the ward. We talked to
Brother Rogers about a fly gun that his kids got him for Father's Day.
You load it up with table salt and then it shoots like a shotgun. He
was really excited to try it out and we may get a video of it in use
in the next week or two.

We also talked with the Stevenson's son (or son-in-law, I don't
remember) and he had some really funny stories from his mission to
share. Him and his companion were using a crockpot on a metal counter.
They noticed that if they had their hand on the counter then every
time they went to stir it with their metal spoon, they would get
shocked and the spoon would go flying across the room. One time, he
also had a tiny black fleck in his eye that he couldn't get out. So he
took a super soaker, held his eye open, and shot his eye at an angle
trying to flush it out. Bad idea.

Have a great week everyone.

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

June 13th, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

To start off, a notice to the missionaries I am sending this to, I am
not being disobedient by emailing today, I promise. As technology
specialists, our transfer week P-Day is on Monday instead of Wednesday
because we have lots of pre-transfer tasks to take care of Wednesday.
A P-Day would be impossible otherwise. The change has President
Daines' approval.

Last Monday, we helped the Brower's move. Elder and Sister Brower are
missionaries that have been serving in the mission office with us.
Elder Brower drove the U-Haul from Ohio to Idaho last Monday, and
Sister Brower is leaving today. They have been really awesome to work
with and we will miss them. They also helped out with a lot of the
transfer day tasks, so I am not sure how everything will operate when
Thursday comes around. If I had to guess, Elder Low and I will
probably be extra busy that day.

In District Meeting, Elder Gardner led us in a roleplay where one
companion closes his eyes while the other plugs their ears (but can
still hear their companion.) The companion who could hear but not see
would be listening for verbal cues of what the investigator is
understanding. The other companion, who could see but not hear, would
be looking for understanding through paying attention to the
investigator's body language. I learned that I have room to grow when
it comes to interpreting body language. Usually I am focused more on
their words because I have no idea what their body language means, but
I would like to learn so I can teach more to their needs.

Going into Mini Zone Conference I had the question "How can I better
help those around me feel of God's love?" During the roleplays, I saw
how asking questions that help investigators to ponder their
relationship with God helps them see that He really is there. The more
I seek to follow the spirit on asking questions that will help
investigators find God, the more they will be able to see His hand in
their lives.

In ward council the previous week, someone mentioned teaching Brother
Rinehart about patriarchal blessings. We had a lesson with him this
week to help him understand how receiving one can help give us more
guidance in life. We found out during the lesson that his home teacher
had also talked to him on the same subject recently. We taught using
excerpts from the talk "Your Patriarchal Blessing: A Liahona of
Light." What I learned during preparation for this lesson helped me to
have a greater appreciation for my own patriarchal blessing as well.

During service at the Smoky Row Food Pantry this week, we were able to
have a conversation with Billy and a couple other volunteers about
what we do as missionaries. They were really fascinated by the
lifestyle we live and the devotion we have to the work. They thought a
couple of the rules we have are overly strict, but they admired that
we have a standard we choose to live by.

Saturday, we were able to have a lesson with Jon. We brought Chris
with us who is preparing to serve a mission in Milan, Italy. The
lesson focused on how to recognize the spirit. Jon still isn't quite
understanding what we are teaching, but I can tell that the spirit was
there in that lesson and he felt something. Even though he may not
recognize that the spirit is working on him, he sees our message and
our visits as good. I feel that having Chris in the lesson was great
for Jon. He bore his testimony of the comfort that the spirit can
bring when we experience the loss of a loved one. Our main struggle
with Jon has been helping him see the necessity of coming to church.
He views meeting in small groups, like when we visit, as being church
and feels coming to church isn't as productive for him since he is
just listening to someone talk. We plan to do a church tour with him
to at least get him in the building so that he can feel the spirit

We also met with Aaron and Shirley, who we met when we tracted into
them a couple weeks ago. We found a great opportunity to help serve
them and we plan on incorporating a lesson into that visit on Tuesday.
I feel very optimistic about this family and the potential they have
as investigators. The ward council has also been very supportive in
helping us with their needs.

In Weekly planning, we tried switching up how we planned to help Elder
low be more engaged. I feel like there was some improvement in how
involved Elder Low was in planning. There is still room for us to grow
in unity; I can't expect perfection on the first time around trying
this. I know I may complain from time to time how rocky our
relationship has been, but this has been the companionship where I
have grown the most and have had to be the most diligent, patient, and
loving. Humbly submitting to the Lord's will is difficult, but I can
see that things could be worse, and these experiences are leading me
to become more like my Savior.

In Sacrament meeting yesterday, Elder Low gave a talk, as well as
President and Sister Daines. Elder Low bore his testimony on the
sacrament and how it should truly be a time for us to reflect on the
savior and the sacrifice he made for us. He related the bread to
repentance: just like the bread takes time to chew, repentance can
take time. The water washes away the bread and the pain of sin can be
washed away as fast as we apply the atoning blood of Christ.

Sister Daines spoke on goal setting and potential. She said something
that really stuck out to me. She said that even the Savior took time
during the creation of the world to not only return and report, but to
pause and reflect on the good that has come from their efforts. I know
in my life, I don't always take the time to reflect on the good that I
have accomplished and it is easy to see the goals and expectations
that we don't live up to instead of the ones we do meet or exceed.
Satan tries to discourage us by getting us to see what we are not,
rather than what we are. Don't forget that as a son or daughter of God
your potential is infinite and your worth is great, so go about doing

President Daines gave a talk on the doctrine of Christ. Most of his
talk seemed to be focused on enduring to the end. He posed the
question: if the gospel of Jesus Christ is so simple, then why is it
sometimes so hard to live it? The answer is that Satan knows how easy
it is. He doesn't have to get us to not believe. All he has to do is
distract us enough that we wander off the path of progress. Satan
wants to get us into a state of complacency where we feel we have
enough. He wants us to forget that God has us on a path, not a bus
stop, leading to the celestial kingdom. It will take continual effort,
like walking down a path, to get to our destination.

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission