LONG TIME NO TALK EVERYONE!
Sorry for being lame. Some weeks I just sit infront of the computer and feel zero inspiration whatsoever. It's a lame excuse I know but I don't want to just write a bunch of stuff for the heck of it that would just be a waste of everyones time. Anyways, this past week was awesome! I actually have things to report on. It has been kind of a frustrating time. All of our previous investigators dropped us. We have been having a hard time finding new investigators. People on our potentials list from the area book never seemed to be home. Things were just blah. It was time to set the reset button. This week was full of training and firesides and opportunities to learn new ideas and apply them. Thank goodness for mission conferences and visits from CC to help get the motivation back. It is nice having an outgoing mission president with friends from all over the world with different experiences. We have been very blessed by the opportunities we have been given.
First of all JT (a friend of President and Sister O's who wrote a book about missionary work) came and gave a mission wide conference on "opening windows" and "making appointments with the Lord" in our efforts to find the ELECT. She has created a program that has helped missions throughout the world have more success in finding people to teach. Her method is simple but very powerful. She taught us that we need to include the Lord in the work we are doing. We must pray to know where to go find people and receive confirmation from the Spirit that we have planned according to Gods will. As we do this we are "making an appointment with the Lord". We are promising Him that we will be where we promised when we promised. In return Heavenly Father will provide us with the truth seekers that are ready to hear the message of the restored gospel. As we open these "windows" or time slots the Lord will provide us with His elect. We had the opportunity to put Sister T's method to work twice this week. It was interesting because the basic outline of her method are things we already do but putting everything together made so much sense. Our first experience was not what we were hoping for. I think we psyched ourselves out and our expectations were too high and we put too much pressure on ourselves and the situation. We were all feeling a little bummed and frustrated but then realized that it is a process. When we put our trust in the Lord and know we are where we need to be when we need to be there, He will provide us with the 'elect' we need to find. We also need to truly understand and feel comfortable with the method before we use it. We talked about why things didn't work and what we can do to solve the problem. After that our desire and excitement to try again was back. The second time we "opened a window" was Saturday while Sister T and I were on exchanges with Sister W. We decided to go contacting outside of a grocery store. This time the miracles were numerous. We were able to talk to many people and see the difference between those that are truth seekers and those that are not. We left that "window" with a new investigator (K) with a baptismal date for August 31st and an appointment for Tuesday and a referral (J) for the spanish missionaries. It was incredible to find people that were ready to drop what they were doing and listen to a 'special' message that has the potential to 'change' their lives because it has 'changed' our lives. I gained a testimony in that experience that Sister T's method is inspired. When we truly involve the Lord in the work miracles happen. This was proof to me that changing things up and learning a new way of doing things can help us get out of the rut that might be keeping us from finding those that need to be found. Change is good. Never thought you'd hear me say that, huh? It's not always easy or fun but it is important and helps us grow and progress.
Exchanges are always great. It was so good to learn from Sister W (she is a Sister Trainer Leader) and ask her questions and get her insights on certain things. Another miracle that happened while on exchanges was meeting with M. M is a former investigator. He is from Ghana and moved to California with his wife and 3 kids a few years back. He is a well educated man and loves the Lord. I have felt the prompting to get in touch with him and we were able to teach him at the church on Saturday. I had taught him the first three lessons before with my previous companion. He enjoyed us coming over but was always in a rush. I could tell that he liked what we were saying and he agreed with it but he wasn't understanding the importance of priesthood and the fact that our church is different. We focused out lesson on authority and taught the second half of the first lesson. It was so powerful. I could see a difference in his reactions. Being at the church, with little distraction helped him think about the things we were sharing with him. He works on Sundays and said that he would cancel work to come to church but not until the first week in September. We challenged him to pray to know if the things we were teaching are true and to act on the answer as he got it. He said he would get baptized when he received that answer and would do the things he needed to in order to do it. We are meeting with him tomorrow. I am anxious to know if he has received an answer. We promised him that God would provide a way if he would put his trust in Him. He agreed and said that he would be a missionary to his family if he knew it was true. M is incredible. The Lord has been preparing him. I know it.
Our work with less actives continues to go well. We picked up two new people this week which is wonderful. People are afraid of change. I think a message of faith is what majority of them need and a reminder that they have not been forgotten. Brother C taught in his fireside that a lot of times people don't have a need for the church but the church has a need for them. We just have to help them realize it. He also focused on the importance of questions. Instead of just sharing the basics of what you know ask them what things they are specifically curious about. Then use the scriptures and your testimony to answer those questions or concerns.
As for my companions...being in a trio is not always easy but I feel like we have grown so close. For some reason I was worried that Sister J would come back from exchanges and wish we were more like the other sisters she was with. She said that she had a good time but missed being with us. It made me feel so good to know that she is comfortable with us. Sister J is such an awesome addition. She has that greenie fire that is just so contagious. She makes me want to be better. I want to teach her and help her in any way that I can. I have grown to love my companions so much. I just care for them and want them to succeed and feel successful. Sister T is doing great. She is such an amazing missionary. I think she gets down on herself sometimes. I am trying to help her see that practice and expereince really is key. The only way we can grow is if we try. I have a very dominant personality and I am learning that sometimes it interferes with my companions ability to progress. I am trying to step back a little and not be the one to suggest ideas all the time, or lead the discussion. Balance is important and sometimes I struggle to find it. I just hope that I am giving them the help and strength that they need. I have been blessed with two incredible companions. I love them and look up to them more than I think they realize. I know that Heavenly Father has put us together for a reason. I have so much to learn from them. I just hope that they will stop to recognize how amazing they are instead of comparing their abilities to mine. We all have different strengths not to mention I have been out a lot longer than both of them. I try to help them see that I was very similar to them when I was brand new. I had many of the same concerns and worries. I am just grateful that they are patient while I try to figure things out. Oh and we just have a blast together. We laugh and have fun and just enjoy being around each other. Whoever says you can't be a missionary and have fun has got it all wrong. If you're not having fun as you do missionary work, you aren't doing it right!
I love being a missionary. I can't believe that I have less than a year left. I still have my hard days but they seem to leave less impact. I have come to truly understand my purpose. I have something special that has changed my life and continues to change my life and I want to share that with people. One of the biggest differences I have seen in myself is my new found ability to be assertive. I just talk to people and let them know how I am feeling. It is important to be sensitive and aware of others feelings but I am not afraid to say what needs to be said. Very unlike me for those of you who know me well. It is amazing with Heavenly Father can mold us into if we let Him. I still have MANY weaknesses to work on but I have a testimony that they have the potential to become strengths and that is what gives me the motivation to work on them and do my best with the Saviors help to change.
I hope you are all doing well! Serve others. Read your scriptures. Pray. Love people.
I miss you and love you,
Sister Kimball :)
ps You might be wondering about "The Three Nephites" thing. On our phone as missionaries we all have a signature that gets sent with all of our text messages. We tries to make a combination of all our names but that was lame and putting all our names was too long. We didn't know what to do and we were all sitting around tring to think of famous trios, so naturally we thought of 3's company, the 3 amigos, the three muskateers and then BOOM...THE THREE NEPHITES. We thought it was clever but didn't think much of it but we have gotten more comments on it than we ever would have guessed. Our members love it! A less active guy named Duke from Tonga that we are working with calls us his 3 Nephites. It has just been fun to see so many reactions.