Monday, April 29, 2013

April 29, 2013

Hello Friends!

Well this week has been an emotional roller coaster which is to be expected when you are dealing with change and trying to readjust to a new place, companion, ward, and mode of transportation. But in the end the week finished up well. I am feeling good about things and have figured out how to deal with what this new transfer has to offer. 

My companion is difficult for me to get along with. She is very set in her ways and not interested in trying or listening to other peoples points of view. She's always right. I have quickly learned that in order to eliminate contention, I just go along with what she tells me. I do my own thing and don't worry about what she says. It keeps me from being upset and feeling crappy. It is easier just to let her be. I tried the whole sticking up for myself and that proved to be a mistake. As long as I can be obedient and feel good about things we'll do it her way. 

We had the unique opportunity to participate in a 'mormon helping hands' service project this past weekend. Along with local members and missionaries we cleaned the grounds and cafeteria of the local high school. It was fun to see the church take part in service. The mayor ended up dropping by to see our efforts. It turns out he lives in my area and the member that was in charge of this event is going to give is his address so we can 'accidentally'  tract into him and his family. That will be interesting. Who knows, maybe they will be interested! 

We also had the opportunity to help prepare for the YW's bake sale pie auction to raise money for Girls Camp this summer. It was fun to be involved with the ward and get a jump start on meeting people. Being part of the activity made me realize how sad I am that I was never able to experience Girls Camp. I hope my daughters will have that opportunity. It sounds pretty dang fun. 

The ward is rather old. There are a lot of senior couples, which is quite different from my La Habra ward which was packed with young families. It was weird to experience silence during the sacrament yesterday. Everyone is very friendly and I received a very warm welcome for everyone I met. 

It is neat because I have a senior couple in my district and ward. They come to our correlation meetings and everything. It is nice to have a couple looking out for us and there to support us when we need them. They actually took us out to lunch on Friday which was very sweet of them. They are fun to be around but make me miss my grandparents. 

My zone is huge compared to the Fullerton zone. When we showed up to District meeting on Thursday I though there must be two zones meeting but nope it was all of us together as one. It is nice to have the chance to get to know a lot of new missionaries. I am excited for our first p day activity today. It will be fun to get out and have a little down time. 

As far as the investigators in the area go:
We have the D family. The husband is from Vietnam and the wife is from the Philippines. They have 5 kids (4 girls 1 boy, 3 baptism age). They are very interested in teaching their children about Christ and helping them grow up to have good strong values. We taught them this week. The mom was there but was in and out chasing the little 2 year old around. The oldest daughter (15) and husband were't there either. The 11 year old daughter was very interested and begged her mom that we could come everyday. It was cute. We plan to visit them on Tuesday. We explained to the wife that we would like to teach them as a family and she agreed that that would be a good idea for next time. I see great potential and I am excited to meet with them again this week. 

A is 35 and wheelchair bound. He is currently unemployed and going through a lot of self esteem issues. He opened up to us a lot when we met with him this week. He told us that he has habits that he wants to quit and he wants to start coming to church. I think that the gospel is exactly what Aaron needs and I am hoping he is ready to make the changes necessary for baptism. 

Finally, we have A. I haven't met her yet. She is a teacher and referral from a member. She is progressing well but doesn't want to get baptized until the summer when school is over and things aren't so hectic. We are hoping to help her see the importance of being baptized when you are ready and confident she will make time when she gains that assurance for herself. 

Overall, it's been a good week. I am as happy as I can be and trying my best to stay positive. I know that nothing lasts forever and I just have to fight through and give this transfer my all. 

Oh and Spencer got his mission call and I could not be more thrilled! Warsaw, Poland! September 4th, 2013! I never would have guessed but the Lord needs him there and he is going to rock it! I am so proud of him!!

Thank you for all the prayers on my behalf. I appreciate them more than you know! 

Have a wonderful week! Trust in the Lord. 

Sister Kimball

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

April 22, 2013

Hi All,

Well I have officially completed my second transfer and am no longer a 'greeny' (or however you spell it). It is weird to think that I am just a normal missionary now. I get to go out an hour earlier and not worry about training which will be nice. So nothing that I thought was going to happen ended up happening. I am not in La Habra anymore nor am I training. I am now in Costa Mesa in Newport with Sister MI who is from Samoa. She is nice but her English isn't the best and she has a hard time understanding me sometimes. I am sure with a little time all of that will work out. I am dealing with A LOT of change and it is hard. Especially, since I was so sure I was staying in La Habra. The Lord has bigger plans for me. I think I might be transferred to the new mission in July. I say that because there is a good chance I will train next transfer which means I will be in the middle of training when the mission opens officially which means I stay. We will just have to wait and see. Next transfer is the big deciding time. I have mixed feelings about leaving the Anaheim mission for the Irvine mission. I am trying not to worry about it now and just focus on my new area. Oh did I mention I'm now on bike. Ahh. I am so out of shape and terrified but oddly enough excited at the same time. I think Heavenly Father is helping me out with that. I feel like I am a new missionary all over again. I think my first few transfers are going to be rough but I know I have something to learn and they are all inspired. 

It is hard to be away from my old zone, ward, and just area in general. It really did become home. Even though I am struggling again I know that things will get better and Heavenly Father is aware of me. I was worried things would never get better when I first entered the field and they turned out better than I ever could have imagined. It really is all about faith and trust in the Lord. I am reminded of the same principles over and over again. Two elders from my old zone were transferred to my new zone and I know the zone leader and one of the other sisters was in the mtc with me. It is comforting to know that there will be friendly faces around. I can do anything for 6-12 weeks. I am learned that. It's not always easy but when you focus on the people and the work it is possible. 

At transfer meeting this morning the departing missionaries bore their testimonies. It was weird to think that their missions are over. It made me realize that day is closer than I think and I want to make the most of everything. As a missionary you seriously learn so much about yourself. You realize a lot of good and impress yourself but you also start to see a lot of your weaknesses. It is a humbling yet empowering experience. It is hard to explain. 

My last week in La Habra was slow but we met with a lot of people. We did district tracting which was fun as well. I just love being out with other missionaries. It was hard not being able to go to p day activity today with transfers but I got to see a lot of people at transfer meeting which was a blast. I just love the strength I get from seeing Gods army come together. 

I will report more on my new area and how everything is going next week!

Sister Kimball

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 15, 2013

Greetings All,
This letter is going to be a little shorter than most simply because my p days have been on a weird schedule and not a whole lot to report since my last letter. Work continues to move forward in La Habra. With all the miracles we have been experiencing and all our investigators being baptized we are back to finding. We tract a lot and will continue to until we find new people to teach. Unfortunately, the weather has been super gloomy and overcast the past 3 days. You can't have great weather every day in Southern California I guess.
Big news of the week. SM WAS BAPTIZED AND LM WAS CONFIRMED. Never in a million years did I think that I would have two baptisms in a row and all within my first two transfers. I can't help but feel so blessed. I thought that I would be distracted by the fact that I have 2 baptism already but I really haven't been. That has simple been the cherry on top. I have brought two incredible and prepared souls unto Christ with the help of the Spirit.
L said she felt all tingly after she received the gift of the Holy Ghost. I could see a physical difference in her. The testimony meeting that followed was very emotional and spiritual. (Many of the young men shared their testimonies. The church is in such good hands. I couldn't help but think of my own brother, Spencer and what a wonderful example he is of putting the work of the Lord ahead of everything else.) She cried in almost every testimony that was borne. The Spirit was working within her so strongly so quickly. It was a privilage to be there and help her on her journey. Her son L was there as well. We didn't have a chance to talk to him much after but I think he definitely felt the Spirit. I can't wait to follow up with him and see what he thought. I am so hopeful and see so mych potential in him. There are some changes he needs to make but with faith and the example of his morther and our Savior I know he can do it.

I had the opportunity to give a talk on the Holy Ghost at S's baptim and it was a great chance to explain and remind myself that the ordinance of baptism is not complete without the confirmation. A baptism by water and by fire are both neccesary. Watching her be submerged under the water then brought back up again was incredible. It was like she was a new person. As I handed her a towel, she said "Wait just a minute, I want to soak this moment up. I feel so good right now." It was great to hear those words. She felt the power of the priesthood and the reality of her sins being washed away. She is such an example. I can't wait to be at her confirmation. Baptisms and confirmations really are such a unique opportunity to reflect on our own covenants and experiences. Just like with L the ward did a wonderful job at welcoming and congratulating her!
The next time I write will be transfer day. Who know's what the Lord has in store for me.
I hope you all have a wonderful week. Keep the faith. The Lord is always there.
Sister Kimball

Thursday, April 11, 2013

April 10, 2013

Hello Friends!
It was so weird not having p day on Monday. I had no idea how conditioned my body has come to needing that day off at the beginning of the week to regroup. But it was well worth waiting because I had the opportunity to do a temple session at the Newport Beach temple this morning. There is something so sacred and special about being in the Lords house. I walk the streets each day and look for people that are prepared to hear the gospel. In the hustle and bustle of the days and weeks I am still able to feel the Spirit and be led by the whisperings I hear but there is nothing that compares to the peace you feel the moment you open the doors and enter the temple. The next time you have the opportunity to attend the temple I challenge you to look for the immediate difference there is as you simply walk inside. I think too often we pass up these opportunities to feel the Spirit because we get caught up in the routine of it all. What a shame. I have learned to look for every chance to recognize the Spirit. When we do that we realize just how close our Heavenly Father is to us.
Wasn't General Conference INCREDIBLE. There is nothing like setting 8 hours aside to listen to the servants of the Lord. They are in all reality missionaries. They are the kind of teachers with the kind of conviction I strive to have just as we all can and should. As I was sitting and listening I realized that the words I was hearing were the simple princples and doctrines of the gospel that I teach everyday coupled with overwhemingly powerful testimonies. The messages were based off of the primary answers. Pray, study your scriptures, go to church, have family home evening, love one another, etc. I loved that the messages were focused on hope and finding light in this world of darkness. There is only one place to find it and that is through our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. We have the answer to all of lifes struggles. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not easy but it is possible and it is the only road that leads to eternal salvation. How remarkable that my job as a missionary is to teach people of this message. To bring hope to those that are lost. Boy am I glad that I "caught the wave". The work is hard and it takes a lot of effort but it is more worth it than anything else. I was also struck by the theme of families. Satan is out to not destroy individuals but families as a whole. And unfortunately he is doing a pretty good job at it right now. 60% of marriages are broken in the United States. WHY? Because people do not value the sanctity of marriage. The future of the church and world are within the walls of our homes, the children. What a remarkable responsibility parents have to be a good example. I was so blessed with two parents that love each other and my siblings and I unconditionally. They honor their covenants. I had no idea how lucky I am. I had no idea my parents were the minority on the worlds scale. I feel priviliged as a family to be able to take broken families and make them whole again. To provide a knowledge of the plan of salvation. How simple a concept that majority of the world is missing. But luckily through the Savior we can all be forgiven and find peace if not in this life in the life to come. I invite you all to reread the talks when the conference addition of the ensign comes out and see how you can improve yourselves and help in building up the kingdom of God.
LM GOT BAPTIZED on Sunday!! Talk about a spiritual filled weekend. The program went smoothly. Our Relief Society president Sister N gave the talk and Sister S (from my zone) sang 'When I am Baptized' from the childrens song book. We had more than one woman crying so I would call that a success :). Everything leading up to and during the baptism worked out so perfectly. It was incredible to see the hand of the Lord so closely in her entire journey to baptism. I can't wait for her to be confirmed and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost on the 14th. Her nonmember son was at her baptism. He seemed to have a good experience. The members of the ward that attended did a wonderful job at talking with him and making him feel comfortable. When we met with L on Monday she said that L (her son) was very impressed and liked the way that we did baptisms. I told L that I thought that whether she moved to California or not she would have been baptized because she was so ready. But I think she moved to California to live with her son so she could be an example and support to him as he was introduced to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Heavenly Fathers plan is so incredible. I get goos bumps when I think about it. We invited him as well as L invited him to her confirmation and he said he would be there. I am hopeful that as he attends a sacrament meeting he can feel the same Spirit he did at the baptism and become more curious and interested enough to meet with us to learn more. At this point he is a very promising potential investigator. L is happier than ever and fits right into our relief society. She is a miracle that will lead to a miracle (her son).
Missionary work in La Habra just keeps moving forward. S our 18 year old investigator will be baptized this Sunday. She has her interview with our district leader tomorrow. She is so eagar to continue to learn and be baptized. She is an incredible example of a young person seeking for the truth. She is so ready for the covenant of baptism. I have loved getting to know her. She loves church. She loves God. She loves the missionaries. She told us that conference went by so fast and she wished there was more. She is just awesome. The Lord is providing me with such incredible opportunities. I can see that I am merely an instrument doing His work. We continue to look for new investigators. We are constantly on the mission to find, teach, and baptize. The work is never ending.
Transfers are coming up on April 22nd. I can't believe I am almost done getting trained. There is a 99% chance I will be training a new sister but I guess you just never know. I am freaking out but luckily everything is done by inspiration. I know that if it is what the Lord wants I can do it with His help. And just in case anyone was wondering I've been gone for 85 days! :) Not that anyone is counting.
I miss you all more than you know. But I wouldn't want to be anywhere but here. Catch the wave. Be an example. Stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places!!
Sister Kimball

Monday, April 1, 2013

April 1, 2013

It's already April can you beleive it? I don't know where the time has gone. March passed by like the blink of an eye. I am already half way done with my second transfer. And word on the street is that I will be training in three weeks. SCARY! I feel like I am ready in many ways and so unprepared in so many others. I know that it will all work out.

This past week was kind of an emotional roller coaster. I hit a bit of a wall for some reason and was kind of down on myself but after a lot of reflection and prayer I was able to pull out of it. I came to truly realize that the atonement is there to help us overcome not only sin but misery and sadness as well. When Christ suffered for us it was all encompassing. I was able to receive strength and comfort when feeling inadequate.
The princess party was great. I caught up with sisters from the mtc and had fun just taking a little break from the normal missionary schedule. We did exchanges with the Spanish sisters later that night. I had the opportunity to spend some time in Santa Ana with Sister M (out six weeks) and Sister H (out 3 weeks). They are both from Utah, one from Orem, the other from Bountiful.  They are both wonderful and did a great job getting us around both being in the middle of training. I was also able to learn a little bit of Spanish which was fun. I can say a VERY simple prayer, bear a VERY short testimony and introduce us: Somos las missionaras de la iglesia de Jusucristo de los santos de los ultimas dias" (not sure about all the spelling). Both sisters said my accent was impressive. You all know that I am not a language person but I decided to throw caution to the wind and just do my best not worring about the mistakes that I would make. I read the white hand book in Spanish. Everything. It was neat. It is always nice to go on exchanges to experience other areas and see how other missionaries do their work. The gospel that we are teaching is the same but everyone has a different approach and technique that works best for them. It was different being in a trio. There is a whole other person that you have to worry about. It was a good chance to see what that is like and how it works. It taught me to be quiet and let others speak. I have to say I am not a fan. I like a campanionship much better. Overall it was a wonderful experience.

The second half of the week was dedicated to tracting. L our investigator getting baptized this Sunday was out of town visiting family. We decided that we need to find more people so that we can use her baptism as a missionary opportunity for other investigators. We want to make sure that we have new people to work with once those we are currently working with get baptized. I can't wait to see L make covenants with our Heavenly Father. She is ready and I couldn't be more greatful for the opportunity I have had and still have to work with her. I am learning and growing right along with her.
The only concern we have with her is coffee. We are confident that she has stayed strong but still need to follow up with her about it when we meet with her tonight.

Celebrating Easter yesterday was wonderful. I love to remember the atonement and ressurection of our Savior Jesus Christ. I am thankful for the plan of happiness that ensures us that we will live again. It is a true motivator to follow Christ's example in order to live with my Father in Heaven as well as my family forever.
Sorry this weeks letter is short. Time has run out. I will try to be better next week. Especailly to share all the details about Lynda's baptism and the lead up to it.
Have a great week! I love you all!
Sister Kimball
ps Remember I can email now! So don't be shy email me! :)