Tuesday, September 17, 2013

8 Month Mark!!

Greeting from LB!

Today is my 8 month mark! Can you believe it? Only one more month and I will be half way done. It is so bittersweet. I still feel like I have so much to learn and so many people to meet. As time passes me by it has become a good motivator to keep me focused and encourage me to work hard. 

It was a good week. Work is a little slow in Laguna right now but if I'm being honest, work is a little slow everywhere right now. It's the end of summer. Everyone just started school. So now is the perfect time for work to pick up again. We have one solid investigator right now. Her name is J. She is 50 something years old (although you'd think she was in her 30's). And she is so golden. She was a referral from a couple ladies in the church that met her at an exercise class. She has the same morals and agrees with everything that we have taught her. She has been stressed out moving and is involved in a legal trial this week but things should be calming down. We are hoping to baptize her on September 28th. We know what a blessing the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost will be for her as she deals with all the trials and tests of life. It is amazing how fast I have learned to love people. My ability to look past faults has increased so much over the past few months. I truly see people as they can become and not as they are now. I am so grateful for this. It is a blessing. It makes transitioning to a new area and working with new people a lot smoother and easier. I just have a genuine concern and care for people from the get-go. 

So it is one of those weeks where I don't feel like I have a lot to report. We worked hard this week but it just doesn't feel like we have a lot to show for it. I think this is the case more than not in missionary work. You set up appointments you drop by countless peoples homes. You talk to hundreds of people. But in the end nothing really comes from any of it. A lot of times this is frustrating. I know it was especially difficult to deal with at the beginning of my mission. But then I came to understand my purpose better. i was touched by a part in my brother Spencer's weekly email home from the MTC where he talked about how he and his companion had discovered that missionary work has little to do with the missionary and a lot to do with helping others come unto Christ by inviting the Spirit to be where we are at all times and in all situations. I was impressed that Elder Kimball picked up on this so quickly. Because it is one of the keys to truly becoming a successful missionary. It is so neat to read his emails each week. It takes me back to my own experience in the MTC. I can relate so well to many of the things he has been going through. I remember too having the same realizations. It also makes me realize just how happy I am to be in an English speaking mission. I am so proud of him for working so hard on his Polish. What a champ. 

I continue to learn that we much have faith in all things. We must trust that our Heavenly Father has a plan for us. We must believe that our Savior will help us through those times of despair. If we plant ourselves firmly in the gospel then we will find happiness. 

I have been thinking of many scriptures as I have been typing this quick email and I would like to share a few with you. They are all scriptures that have helped to uplift and motivate me to be better, understand my purpose more clearly, and grow closer to my Father in Heaven. I would invite you all to study and ponder what they might mean for you. 

Ether 12:27
2 Nephi 31:20 
Moroni 7:12-13
Proverbs 3: 5-6
John 14:26

I wish I had time to go through each scripture and explain why it is so important to me and what it has taught me but I don't. I just want you all to know that this church is true. God lives and He loves us. Jesus Christ is the son of God and the Savior of the world. he atoned for our sins. We have so much potential. I pray that each of you will ponder on that potential and do something this week to be better!

I love you all! 

Sister Kimball 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Big Week!

Greetings from ... (wait for it)! 

Wow has a lot happened. I apologize for not writing last week. It was quite the transition and emotional roller coaster. I thought I was pretty much over that but to my not so surprise I found that change is still hard. I got the call on Saturday that I was being transferred. I knew it was coming but it didn't make it any easier. I didn't realize just how comfortable I had become in Costa Mesa. Everything was going well and I was loving it. I have come to figure out that just when you have figured things out and know what your purpose is in an area or with a ward or companion Heavenly Father changes everything up. In all honesty it is super frustrating but I know it is because there are many more things for me to learn and people for me to meet. This time last week I was freaking out. I didn't know where I would be. Who I would be with, or anything like that. The worst part of change is when you are left in the dark. I was really struggling but as we entered the chapel and sat down for transfers on Tuesday afternoon I was overcome with a calm and the Spirit promised me that everything was going to be okay. I needed that. And I was grateful that heavenly Father blessed me with that tender mercy. 

I know you are all just dying to know what happened at transfers. :) And let me tell you. A LOT happened. So I am now serving in the Laguna Beach ward in the Laguna Niguel stake. I am literally steps from the ocean. Think of sterotype so cal and that is where I am. Everyone is tan and dressed head to toe in designer everything. At first I was freaking out thinking that everyone was going to be stuck up and closed off to the gospel but in reality it is quite the opposite. The ward members are incredible. Very involved and pumped to be included in missionary work. Taught me once again not to judge too quickly. Bishop actually drove us from transfer meeting to our apartment which was neat. He is awesome. I look forward to getting to know him better. He has 8 kids and his wife is the RS president so they have their hands full. Yet he still finds time to be involved in the missionary efforts. Laguna is beautiful and believe it or not a little hotter than one would hope. But it should be cooling off here in a few weeks. Oh and I am in the land of Kimballs, it is so weird. Every new ward member i meet hears my name and tells me how well i am going to fit into the ward. Apparently there are parents that have 7 boys 5 of which are in the ward with their families, making a total of 6 Kimball families in the ward. Woah. That is a lot. We haven't figured out exactly how we are related but we are related through both Heber C. Kimball and Spencer W. Kimball. It is fun to be surrounded by random family but so weird to hear and see my name all the time. Not to mention one of the wives is Kristin with an "i" Kimball. Small world. Her husband saw my scriptures and was super confused. He took a picture of them to show to his wife after we talked it over and I explained who I was. I am excited to get to know them all better. 

Moving on to my companions. I am in a trio again! Yay! I am actually really grateful. I like having the extra companion to relate and vent to when the other is driving you nuts. All within reason of course because you want to maintain companionship unity. I joined Sister S who is half way through training Sister K. You might be wondering why I was thrown into the mix. Seems kind of random. Now is probably as good a time as any to mention that I was called as a Sister Training Leader. Ahhh! What? Me? Yeah it happened. So now on top of everything I am trying to figure what the heck is expected of me. Don't get me wrong it is an awesome opportunity but I am kind of freaking out. Sister S was called as one as well so we are doing our best to figure things out together. We are the only companionship of STL that were both called this transfer. Not to mention our ward has us and the zone leaders in it. So there is a lot to be done here. No pressure or anything. But I am looking forward to all the Lord has in store for me. I have kind of been caught up in this inward, it's all about me web and I am so grateful that this leadership position with force me out of it. We have 4 companionships of sisters that we are responsible for. We conduct exchanges and help them with any struggles they might be facing or dealing with. It is going to be stressful and scary but I know the Lord will qualify me for the work. It is also a little unnerving knowing that all eyes are on me to be a good example but I think it will be a great way for me to constantly be aware of myself and work towards truly being my best at all times. 

We had mission leadership council this past week which was awesome to be a part of. It is fun and sad to be part of the inner workings of the mission because you get to see all the success but you also hear about all the problems. We are struggling with the motivation of the new missionaries wanting to work hard and be here. Their respect for authority is low and there is still a disconnect between what obedience truly is since the mission is still divided between Anaheim and Carlsbad ways. It is going to take some time to figure things out. We have already run into this problem in our own companionship. Sister S is Carlsbad and I'm Anaheim and our greenie is Irvine. There is a difference in how we were trained and the cultures we are used to. We have had to compromise and work on figuring out what works best for us. In the end President O taught us that the Lord isn't specific in all things. He allows us to govern ourselves and use our agency. In the end it is our responsibility to take our personal/companionship concerns to Him and allow His guidance to help us understand what is best. We have slowly seen that there is no right or wrong way there is the Lords way and that is what we want to follow. 

Change is hard but it is necessary for our growth. Although, I don't think I will ever like it. I know it is for my benefit and will get better with time and as I put my trust in the Lord. 

I feel so blessed to finally be serving with my brother Spencer. I can't believe he is officially Elder Kimball or however you say it in Polish. I'm sure you were all as impressed as I was of his first email home. He is going to be an incredible missionary. I am so proud of him. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week. Thank you for all the prayers in my behalf. I couldn't do this work without them. It is hard but it is worth it. I love being a full time representative of our Savior. Remember that He knows and loves each of you! 

:) Sister Kimball