Wednesday, October 30, 2013


This week was one of the best I've had in awhile. Missionary work and opportunities to teach and meet new people were EVERYWHERE. It was so great. I'm just going to give a little run down of the main events of the week.
Update on the W family. They were invited to decorate a trunk for our wards annual Trunk or Treat event. They came and it was great. They were able to interact with a lot of members and just have a good time. We had a powerful lesson with them on Monday night. We did a recap of the first half of the plan of salvation and finished it up. We talked about the importance of families being together. We were able to take a member that just got off of his mission. We were all able to bear strong testimonies and the spirit was there. We invited them all to pray to know if this plan we taught them was real. They accepted. We are excited to follow up and see what kind of experiences they had. We are meeting with them tonight. We decided to talk about the nature of God. Who he is. How much he loves us. We have so much faith that the W family will be baptized we just have to practice some patience.

We picked up a new investigator this week. Her name is C. She was actually passed to us from the elders. She is 14 and a freshman in high school. One of our young women from the ward P (a senior) overheard her talking about mormons one day at school and invited her to come to church. They are on the same cross country team. She came and started taking the lessons with the elders shortly after that. We came to find out that her mom didn't know and was not a supporter at all. She had been reading anti mormon literature and was not happy. P's mom asked if C's mom would be willing to sit down with her and the bishop and talk out any concerns that she had. She agreed. They met this past Friday and it went really well. Initially, C's mom was very hostile and they said by the end they were laughing and invited her to check out church so she could see first hand what her daughter was being exposed to. We went from an angry mom to a potential investigator. Our ward members are so great. They understand their role and are willing to fulfill it. We are still waiting to see what happens. C was at church yesterday and we are meeting with her today. She is so eagar to learn. After talking with her a little meeting with her twice last week it was obvious that a lot of the things that she had been taught didn't stick. We are definitely keeping things simple and applying them to her and constantly checking for understanding. She prayed for the first time in our lesson on Thursday. It was one of the best first prayers I have ever heard from an investigator. We are so excited to prepare her baptism and extend a date as soon as we get the go ahead from her mom.

So back to the trunk or treat event, it was such a gold mine of opportunities. There were 40-50 non members there and we just social networked the night away. It was so fun to make connections and learn more about people. The even cooler part is the primary program was the next day and a lot of the people that were at the activity came to church. We have a list of solid potentials that we are excited to follow up with. Most all of them are families and were invited by members so we have a connection in the ward already. We have asked and invited all of them to set up a family home evening with their friends and invite us. A simple way to introduce them to the gospel and the missionaries. We are so excited to get the ball rolling and remind our members to follow through.

Yesterday was a day of miracles. After talking to numerous potentials at church we went and had dinner with a member family. The mom asked if we would run some of the leftovers to a less active lady around the corner of course we jumped on the opportunity. We have tried to visit with Sister F before but never found success. We were surprised when she was home and invited us in right away. We chatted for a bit and she opened up about not being active. She is an older lady who married a non member and just fell away. She said she still believed in the principles of the gospel. We told her it was never too late come back and we would love to see her at church. We shared 2 Nephi 31:20 about enduring to the end (my favorite scripture). We asked if we could practice the lessons on her and she said sure. She said it would be nice to get a refresher on the basics. She left us with her number and told us to give her a call. It was a miracle. Totally unplanned and wonderful.
Then as we were leaving her house and heading back to the car we passed a couple of guys. Both S. S and I didn't really want to talk to them. They both had tattoos all over and were smoking and just had a creeper vibe. But then one of them asked us if we were from the home owners association and we told them we were missionaries. We talked to them for a long while about the Book of Mormon. We taught about Christ coming to the Americas and left them with a copy to read. Turns out it was a father and son. R the dad said he was very intrigued and would definitely read. Anthony the son chimed in and said they did everything together so he would read too. We also had the chance to pray with them and teach them the power of the spirit in conversion. They are hispanic and we have the best feeling about them. We told them when and where church meets and said they are welcome anytime.We plan to stop by sometime mid week to check in on them. Another miracle. It proved to me that there are opportunities every where. Heavenly Father has been so patient in teaching me not to judge others. I am so glad that we were provided with an opportunity to be proven wrong. We thought they would never listen but in the end boy were we wrong. It was such a blessing. It is so amazing to know that even in my weakness God pulls through. He knew those men needed to hear the truth and worked through me even at a time when I was being a coward. It is the best. I learn to much everyday.
I encourage all of you to take opportunities to do good. It will always make you feel better in the end. I know this is kind of a weird email and nothing really connects but it is just some of my weeks experiences. I hope you are all doing well.
All my love!
Sister Kimball :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Half Way!

Dear Family and Friends,

So it's that time again. Today is transfer day which means my time is limited. I don't know what it is but my days have been crazy the past couple of weeks. So much to do and so little time. So for a quick update on what is happening. I am staying in Laguna Beach with S. S. She is my co-sister training leader (STL). My other companion S. K is done training and was asked to be a senior companion and is being transferred. So the change for me this transfer is limited which is really nice. We are however moving apartments. There is an apartment with 2 companionships of sisters and they have been having issues so we are switching places. It is also good because we are moving in with sisters that we exchange with so that will make things easier being around them and at their service. Moving is no walk in the park. I am not a fan. But I dejunk a little more every move which is good. I don't want to accumulate too much. 

Oh which reminds me...tomorrow is my 9 month mark. Can you believe it! I made it half way. When I look back there are times that were HARD and went by SUPER SLOW but all in all it has flown by. I am freaking out a little bit. Now that I have a little bit more experience and I am used to the idea of change I am afraid this second 9 months is just going to whiz by. But I know that the time that I am here is valuable. I still have things to learn and people to meet. The work is such a blessing. I feel selfish being a part of it sometimes. I feel like I grow and receive so many blessings. It reconfirms my testimony that God is aware of each of us. He wants to bless us. 

I had the unique opportunity to go to the temple again this week. One of the sisters that I am over has been struggling a lot and President O gave her permission to go to the temple as needed with one of her STL's. She asked if I would accompany her and of course I accepted. I had just been to the temple a few weeks before and had a great experience. But there was something special about this time. I know that it was a hidden blessing/tender mercy. I didn't know that I needed it before I went but afterwards it was so clear. The house of the Lord is so clean, pure, and reverent. It is a place to receive revelation and help in furthering the work of salvation for those on the other side of the veil. I felt so close to the Spirits that dwell there. It is a sacred place. A place to ponder, reflect, and ask. I encourage all that are able to go to the temple this week. Let it bless your life like it blessed mine. 

I almost forgot the most exciting part of my week. Elder Falebella of the Seventy was here with us for a zone conference. He and his wife both spoke to us. It was amazing. We discussed agency and how the ability we have to choose frees us. In reality all the commandments that many think bind us are what protect us and allow us to be happy and receive blessings. We also talked about the importance of the Spirit in conversion and missionary work. This is impossible to have if we are not worthy of it, which of course brought us to the topic of diligence, desire, and obedience. Being a missionary is not easy. It is far from it. But with the help of the Lord it is possible. Elder Falebella taught us the importance of fixing what doesn't work. If we are continually doing something that proves not to work don't keep doing it. The results will be the same. I have been so motivated to think outside the box. One of the things we are starting is Mormonade Stands. I missed the first one since I was at the temple. But the idea behind it is we set up a lemonade stand with cookies in the church parking lot right across from the high school as classes are getting out for the day and offer kids a free drink and cookie if they will ask and listen to the answer of a doctrine based question. My companions said it was a booming success. They had awesome conversations, gave out Books of Mormon, pamphlets and so on. There are so many ways to do missionary work beyond the cookie cutter suggestions. We know that the youth have had an awesome success with bringing friends in the gospel and want to re motivate them be missionaries. It is an exciting time. People seem to be more excited about being missionaries. It makes me look forward to being a member missionary when I am home. This work is important and Heavenly Father needs all of us. 

Not a whole lot to report on investigators. Not a whole lot of change this week. We have faith that good and exciting things are in store. Social conversion in southern California is key. Luckily we have some pretty awesome ward members. I'll fill you in with some more details next week!

I hope you are all doing well. Pray for missionary opportunities! Take them. Introduce them to the missionaries! It is the greatest gift you could give to those you love. 

I miss you and I pray for you!

Sister Kimball :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

General Conference Rocks!

Hi Friends and Family!

So General Conference could not have come at a better time. Unfortunately, my companions and I all caught a cold and it was a tender mercy to have 4 hours this weekend to just sit and listen to the prophet and apostles. The flood gates of personal revelation were definitely open. It is always a treat to come together as missionaries. We all watched at the stake center. Some were blessed with the attendance of investigators. We had no such luck. Jenny was out of town and the Whitcops were busy with sporting tournaments. It was a bummer but what can you do?  

It is a special experience to watch conference as a missionary. You are mentioned in almost every prayer and the excitement of missionary work continues. The brethren have made it rather clear that members and missionaries have an equal responsibility in bringing souls unto Christ. It is cool because members are responsible for the social conversion and the missionaries are responsible for the spiritual. The job of a member is simply to be a friend and invite. I know this can sometimes be scary but it all begins with prayer and courage. 

There were a number of different themes that I picked up on throughout the entirety of conference. Missionary work, enduring to the end, remembering covenants, strengthening families, and making our love for God more of a priority. I continue to be amazed by the way the talks always come together. Each speaker is open to talk about whatever they are inspired to and the Lord always brings it all together. It is magical. It is obvious that we are in the last days. The world is slowly going to hell in a hand basket but the Lord is aware and that is why he is hastening His work. I know that there is light in all the darkness, and that is Jesus Christ. If we take the time to step back and prioritize what is most important in our lives we will find happiness. How sad it is to think that members and nonmembers alike get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that they forget to show their love and gratitude for God by doing the simple things. Life is not easy but it is a whole lot harder when we don't allow our Heavenly Father to guide and bless us. 

I loved the talk given in the Saturday morning session by Ulisses Soares on meekness. The characteristics that he described are all things that I want to be. The more I reflected on it the more I realized that all these things represent the Savior so perfectly. And who else do i want to be more like that Christ. "I'm trying to be like Jesus". The only way we can truly do this is if we do follow in His ways and make changes. We are all capable of so much greatness. And many times the only person holding us back from reaching that potential is ourselves. I love that with the help of the Savior we can overcome all things including death. The gospel of Jesus Christ is amazing. 

As far as my investigators go:

We met with J this part Thursday and had a really good visit with her. We have been worried about her because she shows every sign of being ready for baptism but we could tell something was holding her back and we didn't know what. She is in tune with the Spirit in so many ways but she also lacks the gift of the Holy Ghost. We finally figured out that she has some reservations about the law of chastity and the word of wisdom. She understand why they are important but is not sure she is willing to love them yet. We shared with her that Heavenly Father would give her an answer and explain why it was important for her personally and the blessings she would receive. We know she will be baptized it is just a matter of time. She is the type that wants to make absolutely sure she is all in before she makes a decision. We are giving her a little space to work through things. She told us she would be at church this coming week. We will see what happens. 

The Ws are are family that a member referred us to. It has been an interesting situation with them since I got to Laguna. They seemed overwhelmed and we all received that we needed to back off and give them some space. The dad is a teacher and coach at the local high school. He has known a lot of mormon kids through the years. His wife is now a stay at home mom used to be a teacher and they have 3 younger kids. After about 2 weeks of letting them be we received a text from them saying they missed us coming around. Our inspiration worked. They had noticed a difference in our absence. I unfortunately have been on exchanges the past two times they were visited. We have a lesson with them tonight. I am excited to finally get in there and get to know them better. The ward has been great with helping us with them. They are going to take some time and patience too. 
It is frustrating at times when people are slow to commit and change but when I stop and think we are inviting them to do a lot of things that are out of the norm and they need time to gain a testimony ad get in a good routine. We are so blessed to be working with J and the Ws and are hoping to add a bunch of new people to our teaching pool soon. 

Life is good. I am loving the work. Transfers are coming up a week from tomorrow so who knows what is in store. 

I love you all. Hope you are having a wonderful week!

:) S. Kimball

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Balance, balance, balance

Hi :)

This week has been crazy to say the least. I went to the temple last week on Wednesday which means that my pday got switched to that day which means there was limited time to do just about everything which means I'm sorry I was a lame-o and didn't get a weekly email out. Anywho, the temple was fabulous. There is just such a special feeling that comes from being in the House of the Lord. My companions and I didn't want to leave. It made the idea of making our houses a temple seem so much more appealing and important. It means to me to make your house a place where the Spirit can reside. A place that people feel safe and loved. A place that feels different from the world. A place that people want to be. I definitely want to make my future home a happy place, a "heaven on earth" as it says in one of the primary songs.

So totally unrelated, being as STL (sister training leader) is nuts sometimes. We are literally on call therapists and babysitters. I say that with all the love in the world. Seriously. It has been a blessing and honor thus far to serve the sisters that I am over but boy was I naive and ignorant to all the personal problems that people are dealing with. I was struck by something my dad said in his weekly email to me. He was talking about how on the surface people seem to be fine but when you dig a little deeper many people are struggling. As a missionary, especially a sister, no one wants to be the "problem sister" so on the surface they lead everyone to believe that all is well when in reality they are working through trials and hardships. As an STL it is my responsibility to discern problems and help people realize that they don't have to deal with everything alone. The neatest part about my calling is the opportunity I have to constantly be looking outward and focusing on serving others. Part of being a missionary is helping your fellow missionaries stay strong and motivated. I have seen the Spirit work through me like never before. I am incapable without the help of the Savior to guide and council these sisters. Satan is working overtime on the full time missionaries. I have been blessed with the responsibility to help others understand their divine nature and the love that God has for them. Never have I cared for strangers more than those that I have had the privilege to serve on my mission. 

Sometimes it is hard to be away from my own area on exchanges but it is fun to meet other people and see that it doesn't matter where you are, the work is the same. I love seeing the confidence of the sisters I work with increase. They all have such incredible potential. It is amazing how when you serve others you get just as much if not more out the experience. Heavenly Father is definitely helping me to continue to develop patience and compassion. I am not as quick to judge situations. I am growing and evolving each day. 

I could not be more excited for General Conference coming up. I encourage all of you to prepare yourself for the messages that will be shared. We have been sharing a message with people this past week and will continue this week about the importance of Conference. In Mosiah 2:9 King Benjamin begins his speech to the people. This can be viewed as the first General Conference in Book of Mormon times. All the saints and those that choose to listen gather together to listen to an inspired message from a prophet of God. He says at the beginning of his speech, " My brethern, all ye that have assembled yourselves together, you that can hear my words which i shall speak unto you this day; for I have not commanded you to come up hither to trifle with the words which I shall speak, but that you should hearken unto me, and open your ears that ye may hear, and your hearts that ye may understand, and your minds that the mysteries of God may unfolded to your view." I love this verse because we are invited to have a desire to learn more of God and His gospel. Those that take part in conference work through about 18 drafts before they turn them in to be translated. The brethern want to make sure that they are relaying the message TO THE WORLD that the Lord would have they give. They love us that much. I urge you all to take the time to prepare. Fast, pray. I invite you to think of two questions, one of a doctrinal nature and the other of a personal nature. Heavenly Father is eager to answer the questions that we have. General Conference is a perfect time to open the portals to heaven and seek out personal revelation from our Heavenly Father.

I have a testimony of this gospel. I wouldn't be here if I didn't. Being a missionary is hard. But seeing the light bulb go off in someones mind makes it all worth it. I am bringing others unto Christ. There is no better pass time. 

I hope you are all doing well! Look for opportunities to serve. Invite you friends and neighbors to watch conference with you! :) 

I love you and miss you!

Sister Kimball :)