Monday, June 23, 2014

Well...this is it!

Aloha for the last time....
So the tears have begun. Emotions are high. I am going to keep this short and simple.
The last week of your mission is a reflection period. You think back to life before you even left and then all that has happened to this current point. For me I had the realization that a mission was the last thing in the world that I wanted to do. It was never part of my plans and I didn't want it to be. I was on an exchange with one of my best mission friends and as we sat there with tears in my eyes I looked at her and said, "What if we had chosen not to serve missions? What if we had never met?" There are so many people that I could stop and have that conversation with and ask those questions to. There are so many reasons that I needed to serve a mission. Majority of them being selfish. I have been transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ into the kind of person that I have always longed to be. I am still so far from perfect but I have learned how to overcome the natural man. I have an entirely different view on the world and that is thanks to a deeper understanding of the plan of salvation. There is no such thing as coinsidence. I know that I hve been changed for good.
As i shared my testimony in District Meeting and church for the last times I was filled with the Spirit of the Lord and I talked about things that I hadn't even realized I have learned. I was overcome with emotion as I realized once and for all how blessed I have been because of my service to the Lord, my Savior for the past 18 months. You get to a point where you want to repay Him, by working harder but then your time is up. Luckily, I have the rest of my life to live in a way that shows my Heavenly Father how much I appreciate Him and all He does for me.
At the conclusion of my departing interview with my mission president I asked for a priesthood blessing. As president Orgill placed his hands on my head I immediately knew that the words I was about to hear were from my Father in Heaven. Turns out that my mission was a preparation for the rest of my life. The blessing sounded similar to that of a setting apart. I really did view it as a setting apart to never forget the things that I have learned. A setting apart to remember how to stay on the straight and narrow path and help others to do the same.
Although, the emotions are high and it doesn't quite feel like my time to go I am at peace. I know that I have served well. I know that the work I have done is eternal. I know that it matters more than anything else. I know that this was the best way i could have spent the last 18 months. I know that everything happens for a reason. I was meant to start in Anaheim and end in Irvine. My entire mission was made for me. I know that for a fact. It wasn't easy. It was actually the hardest thing I have ever done. But it taught me that I am capable of a lot more than I thought. I now know that I can make it through ANYTHING with the help of the Lord.
This gospel is perfect. It changes lives. It was restored by a prophet of God. The priesthood has the power to heal. The work done in the temple binds heaven and earth. Families can be together forever. Thank goodness.
I just want to thank all of you all one last time for your prayers and support. You have no idea how much I appreciate it. It is sometimes what kept me out here. The Lord is mindful of us all.
Have a wondefrul week! I will talk to many of you soon!
I love you all!
For the last time...
Sister Kimball

Monday, June 16, 2014

I have come to realize that part of coming to the end of your mission means you are asked to bear your testimony ALL the time and you randomly get emotional at weird times. But shockingly I have made it through each testimony without crying. How do you explain that one?
My testimony of bearing testimony has been strengthened this week. I know that as I reflect back on my mission and all of the people I have met and experiences I have had I see the hand of the Lord in my life. I know how inspired each companion I have served in has been. Each was to bless my life and help me grow. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us.
I had my first official break down last night. I was praying and just started opening up to my Heavenly Father. I shared with Him how much my mission means to me. I shared with Him how scared I am to go home. I shared with Him how hard it is going to be to say goodbye. In the midst of all those emotions I was overcome with a feeling of peace and calm. Although, I still experience those emotions somewhat regularly these days I know that everything will work out.
The things that matter most are the relationships I have made. I am excited to teach my investigators for the last few times and to bear a bold testimony to each of them that in order to receive all the blessings they desire they must take a leap of faith and be baptized. I want them to know that I have a sure testimony of the things that I have taught them and the things that they will continue to be taught!
I have made so many amazing friendships. There are so many missionaries that I look to as family. I have created bonds with people that are far beyond my mission.
It truly has been the best 18 months for my life and I can't wait to finish strong in these last 10 days. I still have time to experience so many more miracles. They happen each and every day.
I hope you all have a great week! Pay attention to the little things!
I love you all!
Sister Kimball :)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Aloha Friends and Family!
I don't even know where to begin. I am just overwhelmed with the spirit and have a lot of gratitude in my heart for the blessings that Heavenly Father has given me. As I have thought lately of all the different choices that life brings I am still humbled by the fact that I made it out on a mission despite my pride. A mission was never in my original plans. A mission wasn't for me. I could do without a mission. I had my life pretty figured out. I thought I was on a pretty good path. And to be honest it wasn't a bad one. But Hevenly Father had a much better path prepared and planned for me. And now today two weeks from ending this amazing journey I can say without a doubt that a mission, my mission, was definitely for me. I have learned so many things. I have experienced the highest highs and the lowest lows. I have met eternal friends. I have become an immovable representative of my Savior Jesus Christ. I have learned a lot about myself. My weaknesses. My strengths. I have been converted through the power of the atonement. There have been countless experiences that help me recognize just how inspired my mission has been. I know I came when and where I did for a very significant and true purpose. I know that these past 18 months have prepared me for the rest of my life. I have tasted a piece of the celestial kingdom and I want others to taste it too. This is just the beginning. I want to and will work my hardest to one day receive that complete joy in the presence of my Father and Brother. And I will help others do the same. Life is full of twists and turns but as we hold to the iron rod and keep the commandments we will be blessed.
I know that my purpose is to lift the faith of all of those around me. Be a friend. Smile. Serve. Help others recognize their potential. I have been thinking a lot about what I want the last 2 weeks of my mission to look like. It of course is unpredictable but I know that I want it to be filled with those that I have come to love. I know that I want to bear my testimony every chance I get. I know I want to leave a mark of love and friendship. Time is one of the most valuable resources we have. My time is running out but I know that the effect I can have is still great. I want to make sure that I finish strong.
I often wondered why the first and second great commandments were to love God and then to love our everyone else as ourselves. I have reflected on this a lot. I know that it is hard for me to love certain people. The Savior is perfect. He is always there to help and uplift us. He is so easy to love. And that is why it is the first commandment to love Him, so we can practice the love we have for Him which comes naturally, on others. I know that when I have prayed for charity my heart is filled with the christlike love I have for those that it is easy for me to love. This feeling doesn't always come right away and it is very closely linked with my desire. I know that all the attributes of Christ come when we work for them. And when we put in the effort the joy that comes is unlike anything else.
I know that God has a plan for each of us. I know that no matter where we are we can always draw closer to Him and find more joy. I am scared to come home and leave my mission family behind but I truly know it is not an ending but just a beginning. Attitude is everything. Heavenly Father is real. He hears and answers prayers.
I hope you all have a wonderful week! Listen to the promptings of the still small voice!
I love you all!
:) Sister Kimball

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Quick update on my investigators and that is all you are getting this week. I have a lot of good stuff to report next week!
Our area is doing wonderfully. Missionary work is really taking off for us.
We have Nikki who has a baptismal date in August and is progressing very well. She loves our visits. Loves church. She is reading the Book of Mormon on her own as well as with us. She has amazing questions. Her member boyfriend who introduced her to the church will be in town this next week and we are anxious and excited to meet him. She is right on track.

Natalie has taken a few steps back but it is for the best. She had a baptismal date for this Friday but she has a job right now that keeps her from coming to church. She felt like being baptized was too big of a step when she is unable to commit to coming to church right now. She takes all of this very seriously. So right now we have shifted our focus to trying to help her find a new job which she is very open about so that she can come to church. She is scared of the commitment. She just wants to make sure that she is doing the right thing. We have been focusing a lot on faith, prayer, and the guidance of the holy ghost. Slowly she is becoming more comfortable. In one of our most recent lessons with her we talked about our role as her helpers and how we will love her no matter what. We felt that she needed the feeling of pressure to be completely removed. Especially, since her member friend that lives in Northern California has been pushing it a little. So we are taking a few steps back together and reevaluating how to get her to her ultimate goal of baptism when it feels right.

We picked up Jessica from the Laguna Beach elders. She is a Chinese girl here as a nanny for a family. She has been meeting with a bunch of different missionaries over the past 5ish months and has expressed that she likes the singles ward the best because there are people her age. She is 25. We are excited to be working more closely. I was actually serving in Laguna Beach when she was found and met her a couple times at church. She has been the last couple of times and is slowly getting integrated into the ward. It is exciting to watch.

Life is so good. I love the work. I love my ward. I love my companion. I love my mission.
I hope you will all pray for missionary opportunities this week or for those returned missionaries out there, reflect on your missions and the lessons you learned.
The Lord is waiting to bless us.
I love you all!
Have the most spledid week!
:) Sister Kimball