Wednesday, December 18, 2013

11 Month Mark

Aloha Friends and Family!

It is hard to believe that I have been a missionary for 11 months. I am just a few weeks away from my year mark and that is just crazy to me. I feel like it was just yesterday that Emily was dropping me off at the mtc. Each time another month passes I think back on all the experinces I have had. I remember so vividly feeling for the first 6 months that my mission was never going to end. At certain points it felt as if time were at a stand still. I struggled with so many different things but there was miracles hidden in everything. I see the Lords hand in my progression and journey. It was when I was companions with Sister Thompson that I learned that trials are a blessing. They push us and force us to grow. They lead us towards our potential. They make us more like the Savior. They cause us to lean on the Lord. They shape us into who we will become. I know that I went through each step and milestone to get where I am today. A missionary that is dedicated to the Lords errand to bring other unto Christ. There is true evolution and spiritual growth that occurs. My testimony of this gospel is firm. There are still things I need to change and perfect. I am far from being my best. But I am a few steps closer. And I have learned that it is through the Savior and His Atonement that I can reach that full potential someday.

This past week was rough. C was grounded. S is dealing with a lot of family issues. Bottom line "stuff" is getting in the way. I had the opportunity to go on a couple of exchanges this week. It was interesting to see the frustration and struggle of many sisters over the decisions that their investigators were making. There are so many distractions so much bad. I had this distinct feeling that Satan has his grasp on a lot of people right now. There are many that are falling into his traps and getting caught in his web of deceit. I was angry. I was sad. I didn't know what to do. How to help. What to say. I felt helpless. I felt like nothing I could say would make a difference. I was really upset and frustrated for many reasons. The mission choir performed at an interfaith concert last night. As we sang the final words of the last verse of the last song we were performing "And now He comes on earth to reign.." I was overcome with the spirit. I was standing in front of a room full of people bearing my testimony through song that Christ lives. It was in that moment that all that anger melted away. Although, I wish Satans influence wasn't around I know that the power of the Atonement is stronger. I know that Christs love is stronger than Satans hate. I know that if I simply testify of Christ and help others come unto Him. I have the right answer. He is the center of the gospel for a reason. Because He is the answer to everything. I want to testify that I know that Christ lives and that He loves us. Heavenly Father has a plan not only for the world but for each of us individually. I was grateful that my heart was able to be softened and my spirit lifted. It truly was an answer to my prayers. Stop focusing on Satan and start focusing on the Savior.

This is a great season. There is so much good to be done. Many opportunities to serve. The best gift that we can give is the gift of our testimonies. We have invited each of our ward members to write their testimonies in the front of a Book of Mormon and pray to heavenly Father and ask who they should give it to. I would encourage each of you to do the same. I know the gospel is what will bring the most joy in this Christmas season and in every season. I would also ask that when you give the gift you let them know how special it is to you and that you felt inspired to give it to them through the promptings on the Holy Ghost. I promise you that if you take this invitation seriously you will see miracles.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!


S. Kimball :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tis the Season

This past week has been busy with so many different things. There has been meetings, lessons, choir practice, choir performances, member visits, confirmations, first presidency messages, etc. There are so many things that I could talk about but I will hit on some of the highlight of the week.

First of all B was confirmed in church yesterday and received the priesthood. It was such a special experience. His mother and step father were there. The Spirit was so strong. I was overwhelmed with joy. As bishop G started the blessing the water works began. I knew that this was what B had been waiting for since day one. The opportunity to have a member of the Godhead as a constant companion. As the blessing closed and B was welcomed in as the newest member of our ward and sustained to receive the priesthood my testimony of this work, the Lords work, was reconfirmed in my heart. I looked back on the journey I had taken with B and K and realized how little I really did. The Lord orchestrated the entire thing. It was done in His timing and in His way. Which is the best way. I know that there is no such thing as coincidences and it was foreordained that I would help bring B to a testimony of the gospel. As B sat down, K and I looked at each other and both just winked. We knew what the other was thinking. This has been in the works since before this earthly life. After sacrament meeting B's step dad asked for a Book of Mormon. They live out of our boundaries but said that we would love to set them up with the other sisters or answer any questions they might have when you are over at the R for a visit. They only live about 10 minutes away in Dana Point. Then they proceeded to invite us over on Christmas. The blessings keep coming. We will be spending the morning with the R's at their place and then heading over with them to his parents place. Best day ever. Espcaially sicne I get to Skype with my family and they can meet the R's. Oh and B's Grandma J is now taking the lessons from the sisters in her area and praying about a baptismal date. This family has been prepared and the Lord is working on their Spirits to help them recognize what they are missing.

Second we had our transfer sisters lunch at the mission home with all the girls we are over on Saturday. It was a lot of fun. S. O made us an incredible lunch and we had a short training on unity. We talked a lot about becoming unified with the Spirit and as we do that we will be more able to be unified with our companions which will help the work move forward. S. B is so great. We teach well together and she has great ideas. We did a white elephant exchange and "speed sisters" (same idea of speed dating) to get to know each other a little better. It was a blast. It was a blessing to be in the mission home and feel of the spirit there. I love being able to be with the other sisters in a more social setting. It helps us all become comfortable as friends so when we go on exchanges we aren't some scary leader as the STLs. I love the sisters that I serve. In many ways I learn much more from them than they do from me. They are bright and beautiful. It is a blessing to work with them and learn from them.

Third I had the chance to visit my old ward in Costa Mesa for a choir performance at their ward Christmas party. Being back in that building and driving the streets brought back so many good memories. I was a little afraid that no one would remember me or care that I was back but I was greeted with so much love and excitement. Some of the relief society ladies even screamed it was fun. It is times like these that I feel so blessed for all of the different experiences I have been blessed with. The time serving the Lord full time is so short. I remember at the beginning of my mission never thinking it would come to an end and now it feels like the end is approaching too fast. Seeing old friends and less actives that are now active made me that much more motivated to keep pushing myself to make the most impact that I can before I have to leave. It is truly an honor to be dong the Lords work and meeting and being influenced by so many of His children.

Fourth and lastly was last nights First Presidency message broadcast. It was an emotional day. B was confirmed and I found out that our ward mission leader was being released. I haven't talked about Brother H much if ever but he has had a lasting impact on my mission. He was dedicated to the work of salvation and loved those that he served with. He was an incredible leader and loved us missionaries. I felt the impression to ask him for a priesthood blessing. We had the chance to spend dinner with his family and watch the broadcast. In between I was given a blessing. I was so thankful for his words and the spirit I felt. it is amazing how many adoptive families you make as a missionary. They know how much our families miss us and vice versa and want to make sure we feel loved. The Hs always did such a great job at that. I promised we would keep him in the loop and he said he would hopefully have us back in his home soon teaching one of his friends! I am so blessed. The gospel truly is a message centered on Jesus Christ with the intent to bring peace to all, just like Elder Nelson talked about last night.

I love this work. I know God is at the head of it all. I pray that you will all look for opportunities to share your testimonies with others especially in this holiday season of giving. Have a giving and not getting attitude. Help others and you will get the most out of it.

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!

S. Kimball :)

Monday, December 2, 2013



This week has been one of the craziest of my mission thus far. There has been a lot of change, celebration, miracles, and memories. The experiences you have on a mission change you. I am constantly being molded into the person Heavenly Father wants me to be. You meet people that help you see the true meaning of this life and the blessings that come when we turn our will to Gods will. Ultimately, my goal is to change other peoples lives through the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the end I am being changed just as much if not more by the people I have met and taught.

BR was baptized yesterday. It was one of the most spiritual and emotional days of my mission. In the greatest kind of way. The support from the ward was overwhelming. There were so many people there that we were short a few chairs. B's non member mother, step father, grandmother, stepbrother and his wife were all there. The talks were great. E (12) and G (9) prayers were inspiring. Watching B receive a remission of his sins was remarkable. The Spirit in the meeting was so strong. Brian was already a kind and soft spoken guy but you could sense his cleanliness as he rejoined his family after being baptized. He radiated goodness. K and B both bore sweet and simple testimonies. And all I could think about the entire time was the fact that they are now one step closer to becoming an eternal family. I know that I was meant to find this family. I have never felt so instantly connected and protective. I talked to K afterwards and told her that one day I wanted to hear the full story of her dream and get the details because her family had so quickly become a part of my own family. She assured me that the day would come. She again told me, "I know you Sister Kimball and you know us. This is an eternal thing we have here. We've known each other since the beginning." It is experiences like this that prove to me that there is a God. I don't need to see Him. I feel Him and see His plan for me unravel day by day in my life. We are prepared to meet certain people and do certain things in this life. The R family is one of those for me. I will be at their sealing next December. After that conversation with K I had the chance to congratulate B one last time. As we stood there talking and joking around he got serious for a moment and said with tears in his eyes, "It is beautiful what you do. A young person taking a break from life to come and teach people like me. I want you to know that I may just be one person but I am going to spread what I now know to others. I will effect others lives the way you have effected mine." There is nothing he could have said that could have touched me more. I assured him that it is people like him that make all the rejection and struggles of being a missionary worth it. I told him that he has changed me life. It is experiences like these that reassure me that I am where I am meant to be doing waht I am supposed to be doing. This work is real. The gospel changes lives. God has a plan for each of us. He loves us.

Since it was Thanksgiving week we didn't have the chance to meet with too many other investigators. We saw S, C and the W at the beginning of the week so Sister S could say goodbye. All our lessons went well. S came to church with her convert daughter. We were looking for her everywhere after church but couldn't track her down. Turns out she was in meeting with the Bishop who committed her to be baptized on the 23rd of this month. We couldn't believe it. So we have her baptism to work towards. E and G would be baptized tomorrow if they could. Still waiting for permission from their dad. We should know by Thursday what the deal is. B will receive the priesthood next week and hopefully the kids will be baptized before the 1st of the year. There is so much good going on right now. Christmas is such a wonderful season. Especially when you walk outside and it's 70 degrees. It is so weird and hard to really convince myself that it is December.

We spent Thanksgiving with Bishop and his family. It was fun. Weird not to be around our own family but it was nice to be included and looked after. Being around families is the best. We also had a zone activity from 7-9pm which was fun. It is always great to get together as missionaries and a little fun.

My new companions are great! Sister M was in my district last transfer so I knew pretty well. I would see her a few times a week and she was one of the sisters I was over. She is from San Antonio, TX and just graduated. She somehow made it through high school without really ever learning to read. She meets with a specialist 4-5 times a week and do language study at home. She is so sweet. She has such drive and desire to learn and improve. She is very quiet by has a super strong testimony. She knows if there is any place that she could learn to read it is on a mission with the added strength of the Savior. She is great. She is still new to the mission as well. She just finished her training, so has been out for 3 months. Sister B is my new co STL. She just got called so I am training her to be an STL. She is a dancer from Provo, UT. She has been out for about 9 months. We get along pretty well. She is on the quiet side too until you get to know her and then she opens right up. I think it is going to be an awesome transfer. We all get along well. The other sisters in our apartment are great as well. We spend a lot of time all together. It's fun.

Things are just great. I am happy. The work is moving forward. There is so much to be thankful for. I hope you are all doing well. pray for missionary moments and take them! They will make your week better I promise!

I love and miss you all!

S. Kimball :)