Saturday, January 25, 2014

We All Have So Much Potential

This week was a GREAT week!

Two guys from SLC came to evaluate our mission which was a little intimidating but they gave us a training that change my life and mission. It was for all the leaders and future leaders of the mission. There was about 90 missionaries (so half the mission) there. I learned a lot about the beauty and power that comes from simplicity. I know that Christ taught plainly and boldly. I am excited to try the new strategy of teaching and see the Spirit take over as investigators and members "participate" and authorize the Spirit to teach them. It is such an incredible concept. Both Elder D and G have a gift for public speaking. I could connect to the messages that they were sharing. I have a new more developed understanding of my purpose. We are here to invite others to follow Christs example and be baptized as a means of receiving the gift of the holy Ghost so they can endure to the end and enjoy eternal salvation with their families. We asked our investigator N from the Foothill Ranch ward last night why she wanted to be baptized and she told us "so she could receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and the promise of His constant companionship". She gets it. Sometimes I feel like investigators get it more than we do because they aren't distracted by all the other stuff. It is amazing how pure their knowledge becomes so quickly with the help of the Spirit. She accepted a baptismal date for February 15th. I can't wait to help her get to the point where she is ready to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. She just needs to run it past her husband and make sure he is on board. He is slowly looking more and more promising as a potential investigator. He has a bad history with organized religion but we that is because it was not run in the proper way. We are confident that as he sees the joy that continues to come into Nellie's life thanks to the gospel he will be curious to know what it is all about. We view her baptism as a wonderful opportunity for him to feel the Spirit. I am very excited. 

As far as other investigators go we are working on it. Unfortunately, we have not been able to get in touch with those that the sisters had been working with before transfers yet. We are being patient and in the mean time working to find others that the Lord has prepared. We can feel the potential of the areas we serve in and are excited to press on. We know we are laying a foundation. Things will pick up soon. Both Sister B and I have been depressed by the numbers that we have reported the past couple weeks but we both received a spiritual witness that we need to be patient and that those numbers don't mean anything. There is work for us to do and if we follow His plan miracles will follow. Needless to say we are excited to see what happens! 

Going to the temple with B and K was magical. It was amazing to see them there dressed in white doing proxy work for their ancestors. The spirit was strong and the experience memorable. I couldn't help but sit there and think to myself, "It is moments like this that make all the hard times worth it." I am making a difference, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem sometimes. There are people that I need to find. The work that I am doing is important. The work of salvation however is not just for missionaries. The opportunity to feel the joy that comes from sharing the gospel is available to all of us. Are will willing to catch the vision. We had stake conference and the talks were all focused on this great work we are apart of. The time is now. The field is white all ready to harvest. The gathering of Israel is happening now and it will excellerate until the Lord comes again. It is an exciting time. One that the brethren is marking as important and significant as the 1st vision or the coming forward of the Book of Mormon and we have the chance to be a part of it. How cool is that? Are we commited to helping others come unto Christ?

I studied a lot about potential this week and how we are all children of God. His literal spirit children. We have the potential to be like Him and joint heirs with Christ. We rarely give ourselves enough credit. Sure we all make mistakes and have weaknesses that we can work on but that is why we have the atonement. A very wise friend emailed me about just that this week. We are all working toward perfection but along the way we are going to mess up. That is part of the plan. When we do we must repent, recommit to be better, and move on. The Lord will forgive us of our sins. The question is are we going to forgive ourselves and move on in faith? We were give the commandments and we make covenants or promises with God to protect us and keep us accountable to something but in the end there is always room for growth and change. It is never too late. I love this knowledge that I have. How can I not want to share this message of hope with others? It is the cure to all of lifes problems.

I love being the Lords called servant. I love the opportunity I have to talk to everyone. I am so blessed. This church is true. I know it.

I hope you have a all have a wonderful week!

Sister Kimball :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Transfer #9

Greetings to all from Ranch Santa Margarita!

So as most of you know transfers were this past week. A lot changed for me and there were quite a few mission changes as well. For startes my last zone Laguna Niguel was split into the Laguna Beach and Aliso Viejo zones each being lead by solo zone leaders (meaning that their companions are not zone leaders). A Spanish zone was finally created with a solo zone leader appointed as well. All of the STL's are solo now except for me and my companion (thank goodness). There were something like 14 new elders that came in and 1 hermana. I think that is all the crazy news mission wide.

As for me and my new area and companion. I am in the Rancho Santa Margarita zone now covering two wards, Aliso Creek and Foothill Ranch. It is crazy and there is so much to learn and so many people to meet but it is awesome. I love my companion Sister B. She is my age and an STL as well. She is from North Carolina and came out just a transfer behind me. She is seriously the sweetest. I am so blessed to be with her. I am excited for the new challenge of being over two wards. We share both the wards with elders. One set rocks and the other is alright. They make everything a compition and the ward is naturally elder lovers so there is going to be a bit of a struggle there but we have a game plan to fix all that. Overall things are good. There are quite a few familiar faces around which is nice.
We have been talking with a lot of our ward members this week about their potential to be missionaries and help in the work of salvation especially at this time as the Lord is hastening His work. We can either be a part of it and receive the blessings that come from sharing the gospel or not. The choice is ours. We have been sharing the President Hinckley quote from the last part of chapter 1 in PMG. I love his use of the word earnestly. We must have real intent and "earn" the Lords help. We can't do everything on our own and there is a pattern and proccess that we must follow. It is explained beautifully in 2 Nephi 28:30. The Lord gives us more and more pieces to the puzzle as we turn to Him and trust in Him. It is the same with sharing the gospel. There are steps we can take to help prepare friends and neighbors to hear the gospel. It all starts with praying for meaningful gospel discussions each day. That has been our invitation. The ward members so far have all been super pumped. The key will be following up with them. I can't wait to hear about all of their successes! I would encourage all of you to take the same challenge!

There is still a lot to learn in my new areas but I am excited. I know there are people here that I can influence for good.

B and K are doing baptisms at the temple this Wednesday and I am hoping to get permission to go with them. I am so proud of all the steps forward they are taking as a family. K will be speaking at Stake conference and B spoke in sacrament meeting last week. I haven't had the opportunity to meet any of our investigators here yet unfortunately but I will let you know when I do!

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

:) S Kimball

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bye Bye Laguna Beach

Dear Friends and Family!

Transfers are here once more. I can't believe it. The past 6 weeks have gone by so fast. This has been the fastest transfer by far. They always say that the last 6 months just fly by and I never really thought it was true but I am beginning to think that I was wrong. It give me all the more motivation to make the most of the short time that I have left. I got the dreaded call on Saturday night that I will be leaving Laguna Beach. I knew it was coming. I am at peace about it. I love it here and there are many people that I will miss but I know that I will be back to visit. My time is up and I have a work to do somewhere else. Now the question is, where am I going and who am I going to be with? Rumor has it that they are going to try out solo zone leaders and solo STLs which means that your companion is just a normal missionary. This means that they can spread out the leadership. I am kind of freaking out but I know it will all work out in the end. I will be sure to fill you all in next week with the details of what happened. Laguna Beach will always have a special place in my heart. It is the area that I really found myself as a missionary. My excitement and drive has just grown so much. The people I have met and the expereinces I have had will be with me forever. I know that I will be back to visit A LOT.

This week with the new year we have been sharing a message on goal setting and making 2014 an inspired year. It is always amazing to me when we construct the outline of a simple message that we are going to share how different it ends up being with each individual or family that we share it with. The Spirit guides and directs me to share it in such a different way each time depending on the personal background of the people we are talking to. My testimony of goal setting has been strengthened and I have a much deeper understanding of their purpose. In Alma 5:14, 26 a few different questions are posed about our conversion and if we have experienced a change in our hearts and if we have do we continue on in the search for more. A lot of times we lose sight of the little simple things and focus on deeper doctrine. The most important things we can do is stick to the basics. Are we constantly and consistently thinking about our Savior and the true purpose of this life? I know for myself as far as goals go I will write a list of things that I want to work on or accomplish and within days it is either lost or forgotten about. The desire and intentions behind the goals that we set makes all the difference. In missionary work we set goals ALL the time. I have seen a night and day difference between the goals that I take time to think about and those that I just set because I have to. The main difference between the two is whether I involved my Heavenly Father or not. I know when I pray over goals and ask if they are possible and what steps I need to take to acheive them my desire to accomplish them is a lot greater. Uninspired goals are just as good as not setting them at all. I know that my confidence in my goals that are inspired and supported my the Lord are much better. I have been reflecting a lot on the purpose of goals. Why do we need them? Why as missionaries are we encouraged to set goals about EVERYTHING? Why are there key indicators to track our success? For me it boiled down to two things. Gods example and the purpose of this life. First in Moses 1:39 we learn that as Gods children we are His work. As the father of our spirits He has set goals for each of us and planned out ways for us to acheive them. pretty cool when you think about it. Even Heavenly Father works off of a system of goal making. And second we are here on this earth to gain a body and to learn and grow. Goals are a way for us to manage the growth that we are making. They push us to try new things or improve on our weaknesses. It is a way to be accountable for reaching our potential. In the end as we work towards and achieve inspired goals we are really only helping Heavenly Father acheive His goals as well. It is amazing to see the full circle. I am amazed by Gods plan and perfect it truly is. I know there is so much good that we can do. I know that Heavenly Father relies on us to help move His work forward. I pray that you will all consider these things as you set goals for this new year. Remember to keep them simple. Think through the process and plan it out and pray to God to know if they are pleasing to Him. I know that if you will do that the Lord will help you acheive them.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. It is a great time to start fresh and be better. It is never too late to change. I love and miss you all!

:) Sister Kimball

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Years!

Happy New Years Everyone!

It is hard to believe that Christmas is already over. Of course the best part of the day was skyping with my family. It was so good to see their faces and hear their voices. The holiday season really is all about gathering together as family and remembering the things that matter most. It is a season of love and giving. I had a pretty humble Christmas but that is just the way I would have it. I wanted my focus to be on the Savior and all He has done for me. The small gifts from home were thoughtful and made up of memories I never want to forget.

I got to spend a lot of time with the R family and I think it is safe to say that we are life long friends. I wanted nothing more than to introduce them to my family and I got to do that. Although, it was brief and a little awkward it was so good to talk to my brother Spencer. He doesn't quite know what an example he is to me. I remember how hard it was to adjust to the mission field and he is doing so well. And on top of all I had to go through he has another language to worry about. So he is very impressive. It is all about working to find the balance and he will. His service is such a blessing to me. There is so much to be grateful for and there is so much good to be celebrated in this world filled with bad. We just have to take the time to see it and appreciate it. The hand of the Lord is everywhere.

With the new year close at hand I have been doing a lot of reflecting. It was a year ago that I was in Africa with my family. It was a year ago that I was preparing for the temple and my mission. It was a year ago I entered the MTC. And I have spent the majority of this year in the service of my Savior. I can't think of a better way to spend a year. I can't believe it has done by so fast. The great things is I still have 6 months left as a full time missionary and then a lifetime to be a member missionary. I know that I have been in the right places at the right time. I have made plenty of mistakes along the way but have learned and grown so much from them. Heavenly Fathers plan is perfect. I know that there are trials that lay ahead but I know that there are countless blessings awaiting me as well. This is true for each of us. I pray that we will all make the most of this new year. Continue the good habits. Work on breaking the old. And implement new goals that will help us be just a few steps closer to our full potential.

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

Sister Kimball :)