Friday, August 23, 2013

MTC 8-19-13

Hey family and friends,

     This week has been great.  Except that I say that every single week.  It is just because how can my week not be great when it is so chalked full of spiritual things and testimony growing.  It is hard, yes very hard, but very fun.

     This week Elder Scott came and talked to us about prayer.  It was amazing.  I never felt so strongly that I had taken advantage of the gift of prayer my whole life.  Heavenly Father is just waiting for us to share our thoughts and problems and questions with Him so he can help us.  One really important thing I learned is that God is just waiting to bless us, we only have to ask.  I have been praying a lot more lately ( like 20 times a day), and it really helps.  My prayers are answered all of the time and I am constantly receiving guidance through the scriptures.  It is so awesome.

     Also this week was amazing because I had the opportunity to watch a devotional given by Elder Holland last Thanksgiving at the MTC, and it was incredible.  You know those times when you are listening to a true message and your mind just becomes enlightened and you just absorb every bit a speaker is saying?  Well that is how it felt with Elder Holland's talk.  So every Sunday we can watch a "movie" of a conference talk, or a devotional, or something starting at 8:00 pm, and there was really no room in the "theater" to watch this specific talk, but I was so set on watching it that I basically forced some chairs in there for me and my companion and refused to leave.  My companion was stressing out that we were blocking the door but I didn't even care because I wanted to hear that talk, and I am so glad I did.  Basically it was about how we are so blessed and chosen to be members of the church in the latter days.  Throughout the history of the world, very very few people have ever enjoyed the blessings of having the fulness of the gospel.  Even when Christ was on the earth, it only lasted for a few more years until the apostles were killed. Compared to the history of tragedy and darkness and war lived by so many humans, we are so lucky to live in this last dispensation and finally see the prophecies and the gathering of Israel start to come forth.  It just made me realize how much I had taken for granted throughout my life, and I know I will become even more humbled and grateful when I go to Tahiti.  There are actually a lot of Tahitians here at the MTC that are going to serve missions, and they are all so humble.  It is so cute how much they love America.  It is like heaven to them.  One sister told me the only thing she missed from Tahiti was fish.  She said she missed fish more than her family. Oh boy, I was laughing.  I really cannot wait to go there.

     Anyway, our lessons this week went pretty well. My French is really slow, but it is getting better.  There are just a lot of mistakes I make.  My grammar is horrible, and sometimes the "investigators" (who are actually my teachers), break character and start laughing because I say something funny.  Here is a mistake I made all the time.  In French the word for body is "corps" pronounced "core", and the word for heart is "coeur", pronounced " cur", so sometimes we accidentally say we love the gospel with all of our body if we pronounce the word for heart wrong.  I was pronouncing it wrong a lot, so that is truly awkward.

     Also this week, my district took advantage of my ability to sing really low.  They think it is really funny so they make me sing like a man all of the time.  I was in the middle of singing some lion king song and my teacher came in (soeur buswell), and she was so confused.  I think she realizes more and more how strange I am.  It is funny.

     So this week I am going to try to send more pictures.  I really love all of the girls in my district and I get along really well with everyone.  I still love the gospel and I still miss all of you.  I start learning Tahitian in 2 weeks so pray for me.  When we switch over I will have to be the "senior companion", so I will be expected to lead out lessons.  Make sure you pray and read your scriptures and stuff.  Its good for you.
-Soeur/Tuahine Kimball

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

MTC 8-13-13

Dear Family,
      First of all thanks for the letters everyone.  I will be handwriting your letters later to reply to Matthew and Troy and Brandon and Mom and Dad.  Also Marisa if you are reading this then check your mailbox, and yes I received all of your Dear Elders and they were great!  Also I got a letter from the Lemmons with money from our ward so tell them thank you so much, and thanks so much Karey and the white family for always Dear eldering me and writing me.  It is great.

     So, this week has gone by faster.  I just got back from going to the temple this morning, and if you haven't gone recently, you should do an endowment session.  I felt the spirit and it was so fun to be in the Celestial room with all of the sisters I am going to Tahiti with.  I am truly so blessed to go to Tahiti because it is so rare.  The mission president's wife Sis. Sinjoux is a politician and rumor is that she pulled a few strings to get more sisters to come to Tahiti.  Before the church was only allowed to send a total of 25 missionaries from America to Tahiti, and now they can send as many as they want.  Islands are opening up that haven't been open in years, and it is crazy.  I am so excited, but I don't care where I go.  Even if I stayed on the main island the whole time, I would be thoroughly happy.

      I would like to say sorry that the hamster died.  I guess it is sad.  I didn't really have a personal relationship with Chubs, but I am sure Troy and Matthew miss him.  R.I.P.  Also, it sounds like everyone had a really fun time dirt biking and stuff.  And I am jealous Matthew and dad went to sliding rock. That sounds really fun.  Again, thanks for the Madeline pictures mom.  They make me happy, and I miss watching that show.  I really love you guys, and I miss your sense of humor all of the time.
Anyway, this week has been good.  My French is getting better and my teacher made me cry because she said she was so impressed and she knew the Lord was helping me.  Poor Sis. Buswell ( my teacher) said when she was at the MTC, her teacher was a joke and she learned absolutely nothing.  She learned almost all of her French in the field.  I know I will inevitably learn a lot in the field, because truly you learn a language by speaking it, but it is just nice to have a good foundation of helpful teachers.  This week we got 34 new Elders in our zone all going to France.  I know one of them from Lone Peak, but the rest of them are just from around the world.  We got 2 boys from England and they are so funny.  I made them talk in an "American accent"  and they thought I was weird when I laughed   They say funny words like " trousers, corridor, and such", and I am sure dad would understand their English words ha.  Our lessons are getting better and I don't have to read things directly off a page.  I am getting better at translating and that is nice.  Sis.  Judas, a return missionary from France had me read to her in French and she corrected my pronunciation which was good.  Tahitian French is different than "pure French" because in Tahiti, they roll their "r's", like Spanish, instead of doing the guttural French "r".  That is hard for some people in my district, because they learned French in a French accent, not a Tahitian one, but luckily I don't have to unlearn that habit.  I just am learning French "the dirty Tahitian way".  It is so pretty though.

     So here is the funny story of the week.  Sis. Buswell was telling a story about missionaries that landed in the Austral Islands (French Polynesian Islands of the south), and were given the gift of tongues and immediately converted many Tahitian people in the 1840s.  After telling us about this special missionary and I just blurted out " Is he still alive? " , and everyone laughed because clearly he was dead because he was from the 1800s.  Basically I just have a lot of dumb blond moments all of the time, and everyone doesn't know what to think of me.  They classify me as a "hipster" which is annoying, and they also call me the "workout guru".  For some reason everyone in my district has this false notion that I am athletic just because I know how to do Pilates   I teach girls Pilates every week and it is fun, but I am not what they think I am.  So, yah also everyone thinks I am some crazy runner girl, which is wrong, but whatever.

     One of my favorite days this week was Friday because we got our teacher Sis. Buswell to spend 3 hours talking culture with us.  It makes me so excited to go to Tahiti.  Basically I have learned that there has never been a  missionary that went there and didn't gain weight. It just happens, and sisters gain about 35 pounds. Sis. Judas gained 20 pounds on her mission in temple square and she said when she would Skype home, she would wear a coat so her family couldn't see what she looked like.  I find that so funny.  But seriously all of the return missionaries from Tahiti just say when you get home, you lose the weight super fast and it doesn't even matter.  I am just excited to serve, because I know there are people out there I am supposed to teach.  I have felt that so much lately, that Heavenly Father is sending me out to find people prepared to hear the message of the restored gospel and the joy it brings.  Even though being a missionary is really hard, it is so nice to have such a good and righteous purpose to bring others to Christ.  Sis.  Buswell told us all about the people she taught and how she became part of their family.  She said we are going to have many adopted "mamis and papis" in Tahiti, because a lot of your investigators get really attached to you.  She also told us about how if there is ever a nice toilet anywhere to just use it, because you won't get the opportunity later.  Sis Buswell got to do so many cool things in Tahiti, it is crazy.  Tahitian missionaries have such crazy stories.

     I am really sorry, because I feel like this letter is really random, but just know that I have a testimony of the restored gospel.  I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that the only way we can return to live with God is through us using the Atonement daily in our lives.  I have used the Atonement many many times to help me recently and it works it works it works!  The Lord's tender mercies are so great.
Anyway, I have got to go because I am almost out of time, but I will try to send some pictures.  Thanks so much for the letters and check the mail for more written letters from me. I was so happy to receive some food from home.  And I was so happy to eat a Mazurka mom!  Thanks thanks thanks.  I am going to go to my room and eat some Biscoff cookies later and I am so excited!
Well, make sure you read your scriptures, because they are good.
Love you,
Soeur Kimball.

MTC 7-30-13

FAMILY! Ia or ana
      So I have so much to say.  I don't even know where to start.  I don't even know what is happening anymore. It is like the MTC is a giant time warp or long and hard and spiritual days.  But it is great.  I don't know what is wrong with me but I all of a sudden became an emotional person here.  The spirit here is so strong, I can't even believe it.  We joke around that you could read the phone book in the MTC and still feel the spirit.  So, thanks for the letter mom, and I love the picture of Madeline you sent.

     When I return home I am going to watch all of the Madeline episodes in french, just because I can.
So, the first day I walked into class and the teacher Soeur Buswell started talking to me in French and I was like, um... what?  There are 12 people in my district going to Tahiti, and 2 zones for a total of 21 people going to Tahiti.  It is still so funny when we tell people in the MTC where we are going.

      Tahitians are legends here because we stay at the MTC the longest.  11 weeks is soooo long, but I am going to need all of that preparation for Tahiti.  I am the only one in my district that doesn't speak French or didn't learn French in high school or college or something, so that is fun.  Sometimes I want to cry, but I just have to tell myself the gift of tongues is real and that if I try my hardest the Lord will bless.  Right now we are teaching an "investigator" (he is acting) from Tahiti, and giving him the lessons IN FRENCH.  I usually just sit there and try to read a scripture or quote from Preach my gospel because I don't really know how to form my own sentences yet, except that reading scriptures is even nearly impossible because I have no idea how to pronounce everything.  Our investigator Vetea Teochoari just laughs at me when I speak.  I think I am probably saying something insulting.  For example, the difference between saying la foi and le foi, only a slight sound change is either "the faith" or "the liver", so I may have told Vetea to have liver in Jesus Christ.  I am not sure, but I do have faith.

        On a positive note, I can say prayers in French and I can share my testimony.  Those are pretty essential right?

        Tell Marisa thank you for the doughnuts.  They were delicious and my district was very happy to have some Krispy Kreme.  Food here is allright.  Mostly I eat oatmeal, pineapple, cantaloupe, yogurt, salads, and chicken.  It is a little strange, but I don't even have time to think about what I am eating.  All of us sisters in our zone going to Tahiti are scared of getting fat and there are no scales here, so we made a promise to each other to say something if it looked like we were growing.  We have exercise every day and I am usually the Pilates woman, because I know a lot of weird and painful workouts.  It is really fun, and we are going to have a goal to run a 5k by the 6 week period.

         On Sunday, our sacrament meeting is in French, and each week the Branch President Mangum randomly selects 2 people to give a talk at the beginning of the meeting, so we all have to prepare a talk the week before.  I was like, um... I don't even know how to pronounce anything in French let along give a talk, but luckily I didn't get called.  Sundays are really the greatest, and I listened to the most incredible talk.  Elder Bednar gave a talk a while ago on the character of Christ, and it was one of the most life changing talks I have every heard.  Basically Elder Bednar noted how Christ always turns out in love and charity towards others at times where the natural man would turn in and feel selfishness and pity.  Think of how much better we would be as people if we reached out to serve whenever we had trials in our lives.  I am working on that.  Sometimes I get frustrated (all of the time) or sad, where I just want to be all grumpy and distant, but instead I try to be optimistic and look for the needs of others.  It is really helpful and I encourage you to do so as well.
       More news is that we went to San Francisco on Monday!  I don't think dad was working but I was in delta airport.  We got called by the French embassy to get our visas in California, so we woke up at 1: 45 am, and left to get a flight there at 5: 30 am, then returned the same day at like 7 pm.  It was rough and there is no time to nap here, so we are all just really tired.  There is no time to make up sleep.  It is kind of dumb because our eating schedule is breakfast at 6: 30 ( when normal missionaries wake up), so we always wake up at 5: 50 or so.  But San Fran was great.  On the airplane I talked with the Elders and I ate airplane snacks. I was sad they didn't have Biscoff cookies on Delta that day, but I got pretzels instead.  In San Fran we went and ate breakfast at Boudin, a bakery thing, and it was delicious.  I had a fruit and yogurt parfait and everyone else had croissants   We gave a lot of pass along cards away, and I invited our bus driver guy to read the Book of Mormon.  One sister even got the number and name of a security guard to give to the missionaries serving in that area.  It was a great and tiring day.  Well, I miss home a lot, but I see people here I know all of the time so that helps.  I have probably hugged Katie Wiser a hundred times.
      So basically you don't have to send me anymore clothes, I already have more than everyone else.  Marisa if you are reading this than thank you so much for all of the sewing you did.  I love my skirts and thank you thank you I love you.  Also I would appreciate it if you would give me Marisa's address so I can write letters to Ashley or Marisa or whomever. I hope everyone is doing well!  Tell brandon and Matthew and Troy to dear elder me, then I get  the letter that day.  Well I am loving the gospel and I still love Tahiti. I pray for you guys.  Also thank you Karey for dear eldering me, and thank you for your letters!  I love you all!
Soeur Kimball