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!