Saturday, May 25, 2013

May 20, 2013

Greetings from Costa Mesa!

First off I want to apologize for not writing last week. I felt horrible about it. Luckily last week was really slow and I didn't really have much to report anyways. I did get to skype home for Mother's Day which was awesome! It was so good to not only talk to but see my parents and Spencer. I thought I was going to get all homesick and bummed out but I didn't. I was so grateful. I took that as a sign that I am used to being a missionary, finally. 

This week was a busy week with lots of different stuff going on. 
Tuesday we had zone conference from 9:30-3:30. We were trained by the AP's on making our daily/weekly planning more efficient and meaningful. Sister B talked about obedience and faith. President B gave an awesome talk on principles. He taught that a principle is an eternal truth. He then went on to talk about the importance of helping our investigators understand and apply repentance in their lives. I decided later that week to study repentance during my personal study. It is amazing to truly recognize that sacrifice that our Savior made for us which made repentance possible. It is such a comfort to know that Jesus Christ knows exactly what I going through when I feel guilt from sin. It is incredible to know that I can be forgiven. It made me think of the commandment that we are required to forgive all men. This is because that is what Christ would do. He is the perfect example of charity which isn't possible without faith and hope. 

On Wednesday we spent all day helping set up flags for armed forces day. It was an awesome expereince. We helped make and plant 1776 flags. It was hard work and took a lot out of us but it was so much fun. Not to mention seeing the finished product and result of our labors was very neat. You are given countless opportunities as missionaries to participate in great causes. I felt so lucky to be a part of that project. 

Thursday-Saturday we focused on finding new people to teach. We are still struggling to get out investigator to church. We meet with A, the D family, and a few other potential investigators and our lessons go well. We were able to get a few member presents which was awesome as well. It really does make a difference. When we meet with our investigators I feel the Spirit so strongly and I can see that the Holy Ghost is teaching the people we visit but for some reason I feel like it doesn't stick. We are always received well but our investigators aren't keeping their commitments which is frustrating. Costa Mesa is a lot harder to tract in compared to La Habra. People are rude and not interested in listening at all. This week we were threatened a couple times. I mean harmless stuff. People are just freaks. Our investigators do have agency. I have to remember that and realize that everyone I teach is unfortunately not going to be baptized. We just need to remain faithful and work hard to eliviate concerns and find new people to teach. It teaches in Preach My Gospel that success is not measured by how many lessons you taught or how many people you baptized but by how hard you worked and we did all we could this week. We just need to keep doing what we're doing and be patient. 

Sundays are just the best. We had ward council at 7am which was no fun. I actually started the day pretty blah and grumpy but by the end of sacrament meeting the Spirit was there. I was finally able to snap out of is and enjoy the sabbath day.

It is hard to believe that there is only two more weeks in the transfer. Time is flying by. I continue to learn so much about myself from handeling different situations. I am growing, learning, and changing which is always good. 

Life is good. 
I hope you all have a wonderful week!!

Sister Kimball

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hi All!

I just wanted to start off by thanking those of you that take the time to email me. I apologize that I don't always respond but it means a lot to hear from you all and receive that support and encouragement. I often tear up and feel so motivated to continue pressing forward, especially when times get rough. Love coming from home means more than you realize, so thank you. Just a reminder that I can still receive dearelders and love getting those in the mail midweek. No pressure but just something to consider if you don't get around to emails on Monday. 

This week was much better. I still hate change and struggle with it but I am getting better at adjusting to new situations quicker. Which is a blessing because i was pretty miserable at the beginning of last week. I just had to keep reminding myslef that I get to choose the attitude I have. I am starting to really like Mesa View. Tracting here is not easy. White people are a lot ruder than hispanics. But I am more confident in my abilities and getting rejected just doesn't sting as much anymore. What hurts the most is when someone starts to bible bash and there is little hope of the Spirit being there. It's in those times that we just share a genuine brief testimony and agree to disagree. I often walk away from those houses thinking how sad I am for those people. If only they knew the truth. If only they would be open to hearing it. But I know their time will come. They just aren't ready yet. I have come to have such a love for the simplicity of the gospel. It breaks my heart when people don't want to be a part of it. But my job is to invite others to come unto Christ. The Spirit is there to convert them. But in the end agency is still there, as well as Satans influence. As a missionary I have seen how hard Satan is working to tear me down and cause me to doubt. It is hard. But I have gained a deep testiomony of the power of the Holy Ghost. Satan only has as much power as we give him and when we are worthy and call upon the Spirit to be with us he has no chance. Heavenly Fathers power trumps Satans everytime. Realizing this has helped me realize just how incredible the gift of the Holy Ghost is. It motivates me to want to allow as many people as possible to have the opportunity to receive that gift. This life is hard. It is full of trials and tribulations but the Spirit is what guides, comforts, and carries us through those times. 

Sister M and I are getting along much better. She is not the most obedient when it comes to waking up on time or getting places in a orderly fashion. As her companion I have decided to take the role as an example instead of enforcer. Not to say that I am always the perfect example. But she knows the rules and expectaions. Nagging her every morning to get up or rushing her out the door isn't going to do any good. All I can do is love and encourage her. I have seen a change in myself as I have stopped worrying about her. I can't allow her actions to dictate my happiness. I know that as I do what I need to and stay obedient our companionship will be blessed. It is not always easy to do. Heavenly Father is incredible and truly knows the intents of our heart. I have been receiving so much help. I learned very quickly that I am not a very patient person. But that is one of the weaknesses that is slowly becoming a strength. I have also learned to be flexible and work with the unexpected obsticles that arise. My mission has helped me see that I have so much to improve on but that those improvements are possible. We are put with companions that need us sometimes and other times we need them. I am learning things about myself through the interactions and experiences I have with my companions. Although, situations might not always be pleasant I am learning and growing and becoming more Christlike. I now know that trials really are blessings in disguise. We just have to put our trust in the Lord and believe that His way is better than our way. 

We are struggling to get people to church. I don't know if that is normal for some of the investigators or not. There is a lot of interest as we teach them but committing to coming to church is proving to be hard. I am hopeful with time and as their testimonies grow they will make the effort to come. 

D Family- We taught them the restoration this week. The mother joined in this time and participated. We were hoping that the dad would join us as well but he excused himself into the other room. He is open to his wife and kids learning but he has no interest for himself. His wife talked about how she is hoping she can be an example for him and eventually he will come around. She wants him to do it for himself though and not for her. The kids love when we come over and the 10 year old daughter asks such inspiring questions. I can see her desire to know Christ better. She has given the prayer twice. I know that the mom wants religion for her kids and the kids want that knowledge so badly. I am hoping she will help them get to church. They were not home at the time we scheduled our lesson but she called and asked if we could come back. It was nice to see that they really did forget and wanted to be taught. I see a lot of potential. 

A- We taught him the first lesson as well. He is so ready to make a change. He has a lot of struggles in his life and I think feels like he has "hit rock bottom". He knows that God is there and that everything happens for a reason. We invited him to church and he said he would let us know if he could come. He is wheelchair bound and sometimes unable to go places because of discomfort. I look forward to every lesson we have with him because I can see the progress he is making. Again we just need to get him to church so he can be fellowshipped and feel the Spirit. 

Tomorrow is another "Princess Party" where all the sisters meet together for lunch and a lesson. I am excited to see Sister S (mtc companion) and Sister S2 (from my previous zone). I haven't heard much since the transfer and look forward to catching up with them. Not to mention it is always a treat to see Sister B. If I do get transferred missions I hope my new mission president and wife are as great as the B's. He was the President of the PCC in Hawaii prior to his mission president call. I'm sure he is great.

Oh a tender mercy of the week. WE GOT A CAR. It pays off being in the same ward as the senior couple that just got released from the mission working with assigning cars. They are still training the new couple and put in a good word with the AP's and we got it. They received 5 brand new cars last Monday. We got a beautiful Chevy Cruze. We are so blessed. it has made life so much easier. It is nice to re self sufficient and not rely on the other sisters in the zone for a ride places that are too far to bike. Heavenly Father has a close eye on me. I am feeling very blessed. 

I feel like a lot of times my weekly emails are so random and just a jumbled mess of my emotions and experiences. I hope things make sense. I try to include what I am learning. Because I am learning A LOT. 

Missions are so valuable. They bring blessings that I didn't even know I was in need of. It's great.

I love you all. I encourage you all to trust in God. Pray often. Read your scriptures. Go to church. Serve others. These are not commandments just for the heck of it. They are ways we can more fully have the Spirit to be with us. We all must endure to the end. 
2 Nephi 31:20 my favorite scripture!!

Have a wonderful week. Look for the miracles. They are there!

Sister Kimball