Happy Monday Everyone!
Life as a missionary will never cease to amaze me. It is the best, hardest, greatest, weirdest expereince you can have. And as more and more time goes on I continue to realize just how much I am being prepared for all the challenges and excitement of my future. There are often times when I am visiting with other sisters that are struggling or investigators with concerns and as I rely on the Spirit to help me know what to say I can't help but think this is preparing me for raising my own kids. It has been cool to see that an element of the gospel can fix just about every problem that someone is facing. Most times it comes down to the Atonement. The Savior truly is the answer to all of our problems. That is why He is the center of the gospel. I have been working on applying this very fact to my own life. When I am frustrated or tired I turn to the Lord for help. I ask for strength. When I am happy and blessings are being poured out upon me, I thank Heavenly Father for His love. Something I have learned over time is rarely do people trust someone they don't know. This is true for Jesus Christ as well. How well can we feel the power of the Atonement in our lives if we don't really know who Christ is to us individually. I have been working on that personal relationship lately and it has been the greatest blessing to strengthen my faith and understanding of who the Savior truly is. He is my brother, my friend, my mediator, my Savior, and He loves me. I invite all of you to ponder on who the Savior really is to you individually. And I want you to know how much He loves each of you.
I can't remember if I have mentioned the weekly Momonade stand that we set up. Laguna Beach high is right across the street from the church building. Every Thursday at 2:30 right as school is getting out we set up a few tables in the church parking lot with lemonade and cookies on one side and a bunch of pamphlets, mormon.org cards, and BOMs on the other. The deal is "Ask a question and listen to the answer...you get a free cookie and cup of lemonade." We have been doing it for a little over a month now and it has been a pretty good success so far. We have a lot of the youth bring friends and hang around as other kids come up and ask questions. The last couple weeks we've been dealing with the sarcastic kid that just likes to argue. He is a huge science vs. religion debator and doesn't believe that God is plausable. He asks lots of questions but never seems to listen to the answers because they require work on his part. This past week a girl from our ward was there as we were talking to him and cut in after a couple minutes because she could tell it was contentious. She bore an awesome testimony of how living the gospel makes her a happier person and that as members and missionaries we are not here to convince or argue but to invite people to enjoy the same happiness we have found from following the example of Jesus Christ. The kid was still a punk but P did such a great job. It was so great to see her stand up for what she knew was right. She is one of greatest member missionaries. She taught me the value of a simple testimony. Many times when we are lost for what to say or don't know how to answer someones question the best thing we can do is share simple decletations of truth. And how we have come to a knowledge of them. Then simply invite others to have an opportunity to have the same assurance and understanding. A testimony is a powerful thing.
Now for a brief update on our investigators:
C came to YW in excellence this week. She has seen a few of the girls wearing their medallions and wants one for herself so bad. She has already started working on personal progress. She is the greateast. Unfortunately we couldn't meet with her later this week because she was grounded for grades and then was in Beverly Hills for the weekend so she missed church as well. She is so ready to be baptized. The only thing holding her back is asking her mom for permission. We told her that Heavenly Father would prepare a way for her to know what to say. When her mom came to church she loved it. It is just a matter of C building up the courage to ask. The youth as going to fast for her. Sister S and I have been praying about her in almost every prayer. We know Heavenly Father has a plan for her. We are just going on faith that she will act sooner than later. We are meeting with her tomorrow to encourage her and set a firm baptismal date with her.
S has made incredible progress these past couple of weeks. We have made a breakthrogh with her. In our lesson on Thursday she opened up about not feeling like she could ever measure up to the kind of mormons that she knows. She feels like she is incapable of making that change. She feels a lot of hesitation because Satan is whispering in her ear that she will never be good enough. We talked a lot about prayer. We had our lesson at the Bishops house with his wife Jen and she shared how imperfect she was no matter how it may appear that she has everything together. Without going into details we all shared that we each have weaknesses that we are working to overcome. By the end of the lesson she saw hope. She talks about the distinct difference she feels when she is around us compared to when she is in the world. She said that since she has been taking the lessons things that people said or did that never used to bother her do now. We explained that she is more sensitive and intune with the Spirit. We invited her to be baptized when she came to know that the things we are teaching her is true and she accepted. This was a miracle. A week ago baptism wasn't even an option. She didn't want us to talk about it or bring it up and now she has committed to follow through on the answers that she receives. Amazing!
B is a super star. We met with him last Monday and set a baptismal date for November 30. We met with him later that week at Bishops house with a member. We taught the Plan of Salvation and it was super powerful. K and B have 2 little girls and K has 2 kids from a previous marriage and he is just the best dad. Knowing that he could be with his family forever was amazing to him. Since he had no religious background he had never really worried too much about where he came from or why he was here. We asked him to say the closing prayer and in it he thanked Heavenly Father for the path that he is on and all his questions that have been answered. He talked about how he had always longed for someone solid to follow and how he knows Jesus Christ is the best example. It was so neat to listen to him pray. Church was packed this week because we had a traveling acapella group visiting from BYU and a homecoming talk. When B arrived there wasn't many seats and I had to ask people to move so they could have a place to sit. I noticed that K wasn't there and just figured she was trailing behind. After they sat down and were all situated I asked where she was and he told me she was sick. My heart melted a little. I thought of how easy it would have been for him to just not come but instead he came and brought all 4 kids with him. He is amazing. He longs to truth and feeling the Spirit. I can't wait to have a Family Home Evening with them tonight at the C's house. He is right on track for baptism on the 30th! :)
I feel so blessed to be a missionary. I know I am where I am meant to be doing what I am supposed to be doing. The things I am learning and the experiences I am having are changing my life and making it better. It is the greatest feeling waking up each morning and knowing I am in the Lords team doing His work. I have seen so many miracles and I have come to realize that nothing is impossible with the Lords help. He has made that abbundantly clear.
Thanks for all your prayers and love. I hope you all have a good week!
Sister Kimball :)