Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Let the Good Times Roll

Aloha from San Clemente!

I am just continuing my tour of the mission. If I am being completely honest it was weird to leave my last areas after such a short amount of time but I never really found my place there. It was great to be with Sister B. We worked well together but I found it hard to connect on a deep lasting level with anyone in either ward. It was my first experience like that on my mission. I think it was simply a time where Heavenly Father was preparing me for what was next. I am now serving in the San Clemente YSA ward with Sister R and Sister S (my former companion from Laguna Beach who goes home a week from today). As all of you know I am not the biggest fan of change and I was freaking out in transfer meeting wondering what was going to happen to me. Of course they didn't announce my new zone until last. When sisters were being called into companionships and my options were slowly melting away I couln't help but feel comfort that I was going exactly where the Lord needed and wanted me to be. When they called my name and my companions, I screamed. Awkward. But I was so happy.

So let me tell you, working with YSA's is way different and I am still trying to figure it out. Everyone is busy all the time and it is kids my own age. It is kind of a shock. But it has been fun so far and I see so much potential. There is a lot of potential and I am excited to figure out how to be successful in a YSA ward. And let me tell you how weird it is not looking for families anymore. It requires a total mindset change. It will all come together with some time. I am excited.

Now a little bit about my companions...I was with Sister S during a dark time in her mission. She struggled with self image and confidence. She held a lot of resentment toward different situations in her life. But throughout my time with her I literally saw the darkness be overtaken with the light of Christ. She transformed into a totally new person and it was a miracle to watch. She saw the worth and potential in herself that was there all along. It was magical. She says a lot of this change had to do with me which I don't know if I agree with but I feel so blessed to have helped her in any way that I did. She was always one to be very hard on herself and I guess I played a part in helping her realize that no one is perfect. The Savior atoned for our sins so that we could use it each day and have a clean slate. As she bore her departing testimony she said, "I now know that I am a daughter of God and He loves me!" That is the first thing that we teach people but it is also one of the hardest concepts for people to believe and accept. She is amazing and I am excited for all the good she has done and will continue to do. And she goes to BYUI so I will see her in the fall! :)

Sister R is from Springville, UT and already graduated from UVU in criminal justice. She is 22 and awesome. She is one of the sisters in the mission I have always wanted to get to know better and boom here is my chance. I still don't know her that well. But what I do know is she is another sister that lives way beneath her potential simply because she doesn't see it in herself. My goal this transfer is to help her so how capable she truly is and in the process see all this success from hard work and faith in the Lord. She started in the Carlsbad mission but came out around the same time as me. It is awesome being in a companionship where we are all experienced. It makes the work so much fun. We are going to tear it up! I am the happiest I have been on my mission. I foresee countless miracles. We are going to find, teach, baptize, retain, and reactivate! Now is the time!

BR's grandma J that bore came to his baptism and felt the Spirit and bore her testimony was baptized yesterday. It was amazing to be there and share in the experience. B baptized her and seeing him exercise his priesthood was awesome. It was crazy to think that 4 months ago he wouldn't have been able to do that. The Lord is amazing and His plans truly are inspired. There were many friendly and familiar faces at the baptism. It was a wonderful reunion once again. K gave me a sweet note that talked about how grateful she is that we are "sisters" and that I helped her dreams of having an eternal family someday come true. I am just so overwhelmed by the Spirit each time I think about the R family. I love them so much. E and G were talking about how much they want to come visit me in Utah. They can't wait to go to temple square. They are just incredible and I don't know what I would do without them!

Life is so good. I am happy. The work is good. I love being a missionary. The hand of the Lord is in all things. I am not only changing lives but my life is being changed each day for good! I love the Lord and I am grateful for Him.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!
All my love,

S. Kimball :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Transfer #10

Aloha Friends and Family!

Transfer time is here once again. I can hardly believe it. There is a lot of changes this time. I assumed that I would be staying my in areas or at least one of them but ends up I am out of there. It is my shortest stay in a zone but I know that Heavenly Father needs me elsewhere. It is hard to leave members, investigators, missionary friends, and companions behind. I just remind myself that I am moving on to another opportunity to meet and make good relationships. I had a mild freak out today when I thought to myself, "I am starting my 10th transfer. That means that I only have 2 more after this one. Time is going to fly by." I can't imagine life not as a missionary. I know my time is coming to an end but I know that I still have a lot to learn. The opportunity to learn, grow, improve, change, and evolve is never over.

So we had N's baptism this week. It went well. It was actually kind of a disaster is some ways. I mean she is amazing and had a good experience but there was a lack of reverence throughout the whole program. Little unnecessary comments, clapping after the baptismal ordinance, and a lot of talking during the talks. The Spirit would be there and then just leave so quickly. Luckily N saved the day as she got up to bear her testimony and explain to her non member family why she had just been baptized. It was powerful. There were so many people there to support her. It was a success. There are imporvements to be made but what matters most is Nellie is not a baptized and confirmed member of the church and has the gift of the Holy Ghost.

There is nothing better than hearing the words, "how did you know I needed you? You came at the perfect time!" as a missionary. Sister B and I had that a couple times this week. One of them was with a member. Sister G is a a ward missionary and we stopped in on her one day and ends up she was going through her food storage with another lady from the ward. We offered to help and she told us how much she appreciated it and was freaking out wondering how she was going to get all this done without a litttle more help. Then voila, we show up. The Lord works in mysterious ways. We had a blast helping her. It ends up that a lot of her food storage was from 1991 (so the year I was born, meaning it is 23 years old...gross). She was freaking out about it all being bad and how they had a false sense of security all this time. Sister S reassured her that she would be able to restock it and all would be well. It was hilarious to open up the cans of rice, and apples, and powdered milk, and smell it/taste it to test if it was bad. I learned that everything smelt terrible to me. I was told I made lots of funny faces. Those who know me well know that I react to things. It was fun. There are so many random experiences like this on a mission. It is what keeps things exciting.

Something I have been working on a lot these past couple of weeks is charity. There are many times in our lives when we feel like it is okay to be offended or mad or whatever the emotion because to the wrong doing of someone else. I read Beware of Pride and realized it is something we can all work on. It is hard to develop any of the other Christlike attributes until we understand the importance of charity and apply it as best we can. I learned that charity is recognizing that we are truly all children of God and He loves us regardless of our mistakes. We must love those that offend or hurt us. The key is using the atonement of Jesus Christ to do that. His help and power make it possible. I know when I am frustrated or annoyed the person I am hurting the most by hanging onto those emotions is myself. I want to be better at using the atonement for EVERYTHING so I can be happy in everything. A lot of times it is easier said than done. I know that it is possible though. I can only help others as far as I help myself. How selfish and sad it would be to stay miserable and in turn not be able to help others get out of their misery. I have the gospel. I have all the answers. The question I keep asking myself is what am I doing with that knowledge that I have?

I know that God lives and He loves us. I know the Savior atoned for us. He wants us to be happy. I hope you all have a wonderful week!


Sister Kimball :)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

23 Today?!

I can't believe that I am 23 years old. I feel so much younger than that. And everyone tells me I look a lot younger too. But I have learned a lot in these 23 years and I have an unlimited amount of things to be grateful for. I was reflecting on what the word "birthday" means and as we all know it is the day of our birth. As I pondered I came torealize just how magnificent that day really is. 23 years ago I left the presense of my Heavenly Father to come down to this earth to an incredible family. I have been blessed to be brought up in the gospel and to know from a very young age that I am a child of God and that He loves me. My mission has helped me to better understand His plan for me. It has made sense of things in the past and given me so much knowledge for things in my future. I know that God is aware of each of us. He not only has a general plan for all of us to return to Him and be like Him but a specific plan for each and everyone of us. He knows us by name and He wants nothing more than to bless us. But we must turn to Him.

I have been thinking and studying a lot about creating a celestial culture or a culture of high expectations. We were in a Mission Leadership Council meeting this week and one of the trainings was on this very topic. Something that stuck out to me was that the best way that we can be examples to others is simply by living the gospel of Jesus Christ. Obviously none of us are perfect but when we follow the Saviors example we become more like him. President O asked us to consider 6 questions related to a celestial culture. All of which were geared towards the mission and what is so cool is it applies to everyone. Not just missionaries. Anyways the 6 questions were:
1. What is it? Christlike
2. What does it look like? Transformation (conversion)
3. What does it feel like? Peace
4. How is it created? Remembering
5. How is it perpetuated? Example
6. What difference does it make? All the difference, Exaltation
I have had the opportunity this week to ponder on this a lot. We talked about it in a group. Then I have the opportunity to council with the other leaders in my zone and finally on my own. For each question I have come up with a one word answer for myself 9the words in green). Our ultimate goal is to become perfect even as God and Christ are perfect and enjoy the blessings of exaltation. But there are things we need to do to get there. Such as feast upon the words of Christ, become true converts to His gospel, repent daily, and believe in His power. When we do these things we feel peace and happiness. When we expereince this joy we want to share it with others and be that example for them and lead them to the truth. But it all begins with remembering the testimonmies we have and the moments when the spirit has witnessed truth to our hearts and minds. It is a formula to perfection. It is something that has literally change my mission and my life. I can live in a way here and now on earth that is preparing me for the celestial world. Heavenly Father expects a lot of us because He trusts us. He wants us to experince the peace that the gospel brings and share it with others. We are all capable of much more than we give ourselves credit for. I know that I am learning things on my mission that are changing the way I think. I am truly becoming more converted to the gospel. The atonement of Jesus Christ is transforming me into the person God wants me to be. I don't know where I would be without the knowledge I have. I am working each day to be worthy of the spirit and create that celestial culture for myself and those around me! You can do it to. I invite you all to consider these questions and come up with an answer that makes sense to you!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Transfer calls are this weekend so I will let you know next Tuesday (transfer day) (oh and monday is a holiday) what is happening. I just got here so hopefully I stick around. And it is hard to believe the 6 weeks is already almost up!
oh and N is getting baptized on Saturday!!!! I will let you all know how her special day turns out! Her nonmember husband, son, daughter in law, and two teenage grandsons will be there as well. An amazing opportunity for them to feel the spirit!

Love you all!
:) S. Kimball

ps A little run down on my birthday day. We got together as a zone for breakfast at 6:15am which meant we had to wake up at 5:30...gross (but found out the zone leaders got up at 3am to make it, my new heros). Met at the stake center where we didn't realize seminary would be going on, so all the rooms were filled and we ended up sitting around and eating in the lobby. It was kind of ghetto but we make it work. And the ZL's put sprinkels in my pancakes for my birthday. Very cute. Then we went on a zone hike. Did studies on the top of a hill. Beautful and peacful. had a little devotional and testimony meeting, where the spirit was strong. It was the perfect beginning to my day. Then went to a late breakfast with the RS president of one of my wards that is aweesome. So needless to say i am getting taken care of. Forgot my camera otherwise I would have attatched a picture. And Sister B is treating me to a comanion date for dinner :) I am blessed and happy!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes. I appreciate you all so much! I couldn't do it without your love and support!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Pray for Rain!


The time just keeps passing me by. I don't even get it. I can't believe we are already in February. It is crazy. One bummer thing of the week...the weather was actually a little winter like. I have worn my coat a couple days and boots have been my go to footwear. I decided it's a good thing I am coming home in the summer because a utah/ Idaho winter at this point might kill me. Oh and while we are on the topic of weather, the state of California is experience a draught. We all fasted and prayed for rain this past Sunday and it rained last night. The Lord really does deliver. Especially, when many of His children band together for a worthy cause. If you all could pray for rain to end this draught as well that would be wonderful! :)

It was a great week. Probably the best week of the transfer so far. The work here is moving forward. I still feel like there are so many more people to meet and get to know. I love covering two wards but it does have it's challenges. There is so much potential and missionary work to be done in both the Foothill Ranch and Aliso Creek ward. I feel like both wards have members that are ready to take it to the next level and be true missionary minded wards that are focused on hastening the work. One of the challenges we face is feeling like we can't give 100% of our time and attention to both wards. It makes it hard because we want the best for both. I also feel like the wards feel like they only have part time sisters (which is kind of true) and wish that we could be more full time. With the schedule of church times we can't attend both. Rumor has it that they might put full time missionaries in both ward next transfer which might not be such a bad idea. 
I don't think I have given a good run down on the work in awhile, so here you have it:

This week in Foothill Ranch:
We picked up an investigator named K. He is friends with a family from our ward. He is friends with their daughter who is out on a mission. They met each other at work. He attended her farewell. He is 21. He opened up to us a lot about his struggle with depression and how he wants to badly to believe in something. We shared the new training of the restoration and talked a lot about personal revelation. That he can come to know things for himself. He is looking forward to meeting with us and is hopeful that he will find an answer on his journey. We had him pray and he said it felt good to talk to God again. He kind of gave up on prayer after he felt like he wasn't receiving answers. We are excited to get a baptismal date with him this week.

N is our hispanic investigator that will be baptized on February 15th. She is so amazing. Everytime we are with her the Spirit is so strong. She is one of those people that was prepared throughout her whole life for this moment. She has an amzing testimony. We taught her the Word of Wisdom this week and we asked her why she thought this "health code" Heavenly Father revealed to Joseph Smith might be important and she said, before she opened teh pamphlet I might add, "Because my body is a temple. It is a gift from God and I must treat it as such." I couldn't beleive it. She is so inspired and close to the Spirit. We would love for you to be at her baptism if you are available!

We are working with a part member family the Ws. R is less active and N is not a member. They are an awesome older couple. We invited them to take the lessons and they accepted. We are excited to get them involved and participating so the Spirit can testify truth to them. They are wonderful and would be a great asset to our ward. We have ward missionaries fellowshipping them as well. It is great.

This week in Aliso Creek:
We found a bunch of new potentials this week. 1 high school aged girl,1 couple, and a family.
As we were visiting a member from the ward we saw a girl off in the distance flop to the ground on the curd. She didn't look very happy and had a bunch of stuff with her. It looked like she needed some help. We approached her and told her who we were. She said that she had just been kicked out of her aunts house. She was so nice and open to talking to us. We explained that we thought our message could help her and she expressed interest. We got her number and will be meeting with her this week. She definitely had the light of Christ in her. We are excited to sit down and teach her.

We went to contact DH a referral we received and we end up finding his wife home. She was sick and didn't want to give us the germs so we talked on the doorstep for a bit. She talked about how she is catholic but then said that they were church shopping. She talked about how her husband had worked with some mormons and they were great and they always kind of wondered about what we believe. We explained that as missionaries it is our job to do just that, teach people and help them come closer to Christ. She said that she and her husband would love to sit down with us. We will be seeing them this week as well. They also have 4 kids. 

As we were coming out of dinner on Saturday night there is a couple across the street moving in. We go help them unload the truck. The elders are with us as well. We are obviously in our proselyting clothes and they are shocked that we would randomly stop and come and help them. They accepted our offer to help quickly. The wife B was very outgoing. After some time I hop up into the truck with husband C and help move things from the back of the truck forward for people to carry in. We get talking and he starts asking questions about missions. It was a pretty basic conversation but he we super impressed and thankful. They talked about how blessed their day had been and what lifesavers we were. We ended up leaving them with a Book of Mormon and our number. We are probably going over there this week to help them unpack and if not we are going over for a lesson. She said she wants to pick our brains about mormons. It should be great. Oh and turns out that she cut her leg that night after we left and went over to the members across the street for some band aids so they know each other now. And our ward executive secretary Brother J stopped when he saw white shirts and ties and ended up helping as well. B talked to his wife for awhile and we found out church that they had dinner at the Js last night. AMAZING. They have had so much love from members already it is amazing how the Lord works.

There is a lot of good going on. Sometimes it is hard to feel like you are accomplishing much when you aren't reaching the goals you set. But I know that Sister B and I are laying a foundation. I take a lot of comfort in D&C 64:33. It continues to be a comfort to me. I know that my efforts aren't wasted. The Lord is blessing us with confidence and piece of mind. I am so excited for this upcoming week and all the good that will come and the progress that will be made! :)

I hope you are all doing well. Be happy. Put your trust in the Lord. Believe in Him.


Sister Kimball :)