Thursday, September 1, 2016

July 18th, 2016

Dear Family and Friends,

Early in the week, we had a lesson with Grant and we brought Jake
Hunter. This was his first time going to a lesson with the
missionaries. He did a fantastic job bearing his testimony. We taught
the plan of salvation through the use of Alma 18. Grant believes in a
higher power, but he doesn't know exactly who that being is. This
situation allowed us to relate a chapter in the Book of Mormon
directly to his needs like we had discussed in district meeting last
week. We also brought up the word of wisdom and testified boldly of
the power we receive if it is kept. When we first brought it up, Grant
told us flat out that he wouldn't make this change in his life and
that we might as well quit teaching him now. I have never received
such stern rejection to our teaching quite like this moment. Earlier
in my mission, I feel I would have just accepted what he said and
stopped teaching him, but this time was different. We continued to be
bold, continued to testify, and continued to promise that his life
would be blessed by keeping it. I can't say that he is fully on board
with living the word of wisdom yet, but his heart has softened a lot
to that idea. Elder Low and I talked about this lesson later on and we
both felt the need to keep pushing back and keep trying to teach him
at this point. I can't imagine the disappointment and regret both of
us would have felt if we had just given into the easier way instead.

Since Elder Low and I only had half of the time for our training in
District Meeting last week, Elder Gardner gave us some time this week
to go over the rest of what we had planned to share. We took some time
to hear experiences of what people had applied from the previous week
of talking about goals and most companionships had something positive
to share. The experiences showed that the district members were
getting more creative with their goals and making them fun so that
they were motivated to accomplish them. The big takeaway I got from
District Meeting is that in teaching others, I need to find out if
people understand that God loves them. A lot of the time we tell
people that God loves them, rather than show them. This reminds me of
the Zone Conference with Elder Zeballos where President Daines shared
that we should help investigators feel affirmation that God loves

We have found some success working with part-member families this
week. We were able to have a lesson with Sister Benver, who has been
going through a difficult time with her family situation and can use
some support from the ward. The rest of her family are not members and
we hope to be able to involve them more in future visits. We also hope
to work with the rest of the ward in providing fellowship for her
since this is a perfect opportunity to involve the ward council. Her
home teacher has already been a great help and we have been able to
build quite a lot of trust with him as we have demonstrated that we
care for Sister Benver.

The other part-member family we intend to work with more is the
Gershutz family. Sister Gershutz is the only member in her household,
but she has supportive parents that are strong in the gospel. When we
went to try visiting their family, we happened to catch Sister
Gershutz's mom and were able to get some good information on how we
can teach to their family's needs. I am excited to work with this
family. They seem to have a lot of potential, we just need to work out
the scheduling to be able to meet with them.

Elder Low and I have been making some progress on making our study and
planning times more effective. I have really seen how planning out
during daily planning the topics we will study for companion study the
next day has helped us to have more meaningful studies focused on our
investigators. Another idea we tried this week is setting fifteen
minute timers during weekly planning as we started each numbered step
of the planning guidelines. This was in an effort to help us get
though each step of planning and not stay too long on the earlier
steps since we had been leaving little to no time for the later ones.
Any time we had left at the end could then be spent going back and
finishing the steps we felt we needed more time. We noticed that the
timers did more than help pace our planning, it helped refocus us when
we would get onto tangents.

Elder Aaron King
Ohio Columbus Mission

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