Thursday, January 16, 2014

January 13, 2014 Transfers

Guess what happened this week/  My companion and trainer Soeur Ference got transfered.  I was totally sad.  She is now one of my best friends, and you know what that means?  It means I got called to train!  I am now training a girl who just arrived from France.  What does that mean? It means three things.

1.  She has a French accent and speaks sophisticated French so I can't really understand her.
2.  My French is going to improve because I am going to learn from her. Since right now all I know is the ghetto French that people talk here, but it is the best kind frankly.
3.  I am completely in charge of my sector and I am completely teriffied.

But it is ok because I know the Lord will be with me.  I really loved my last companion and part of the reason I love her so much is because we passed through so many trials together, members critiquing us, impossible expectations, a lack of investigators and a lack of lessons.  It is totally ok because I really did my best and I know I did affect peoples lives even if they don't really feel like they want to act right now.

That is all changing right now because we found so many new investigators this week.  I really can't believe all the miracles.  One of the things I have learned here is just to not have fear.  Think of how many things we don't do in our lives because we are scared, and every time after we didn't do it we regret it.  The theme for this next transfer in Tuauru is faith.  I am really just going to talk to everyone and ask them if they want to improve their lives and I am really just going to testify to them.  For example, on Thursday I saw a little Chinese man holding a big bunny in the middle of the road and he was totally scared of me because I was about twice his height but I scheduled a lesson with him for next week. The things I see here are always so funny. I wish I had a picture, anyway I will tell you a few of the miracles I saw this week.

On Saturday me and Soeur Ferrence passed a man walking to his house with a bunch of bread and we felt like we should go back and just talk to him.  We did and he said he would like to hear our message. We went to the bishops wife to ask if she could come with us to the lesson but she said we shouldn't go because the man we had met was no good to teach.  Well I had just read that day the talk by President Monson that says we should never see people as they are now but their potential and so I had us go teach him.  Luckily we got his daughter and sister to come to the lesson and we immeadiately felt like we should talk about baptism.  Turns out he totally wants to change his life and get baptized.  He already stopped smoking and drinking without us meeting him.  We have another lesson with him this week and I hope we will be able to fix a baptismal date for him.  It just shows you that you never know who is ready.  You really can never judge people.  We are really more than our weaknesses or our faults like President Holland says.  That is also my other theme for these next ten weeks in Tuauru.  I am just going to love everyone.  No matter if they say mean things to me or make fun of my French.  I will just love them because they are all chidlren of our Heavenly Father and have divine potential no matter their situation.

Next big news.

We found a family to teach!  It was the last lesson I taught with Soeur Ferrence and it was amazing. The Spirit was so strong and we talked about the importance of the gospel in the family.  I really hope they continue to progress.  It is really hard to have a lot of investigators that start on the path to becoming members but stop progressing because of various obstacles.

The biggest thing to remember is just that no matter what happens we know the Lord will win in the end.  We are hastening a work that can't be stopped.  In that sense there is realy no way to fail.  So FAAITOITO OUTOU
Love you all and I still can't understand Tahitian but it is ok.

Soeur Kimball

January 6, 2014

It was so crazy for me to think that this new year of 2014 I will be in Tahiti.  I really love the new year because it gives me more of a hope to accomplish things and just progress in general.  I really plan on this year being a fantastic year.  I hope to grow in my testimony and in my ability to help and serve others.  I hope to grow in my ability to love other children of God and the ability to have patience with myself and my weaknesses.  I hope to really know my Savior even better so that I can help others more.

Well, I am not going to lie, despite that I might love new years, it is not exactly the best time for missionary work here.  In fact, this week in the beginning might of been the hardest two days of my life.  I was really so discouraged, and it is pretty hard for me to be depressed. Basically, everyone in our sector was drunk, and all of our investigators took a break to party as well, so you can see we didn't really have anything to do except street contacting.  Which means going house by house and yelling "Iorana" then waiting for someone to come out and say that they are too busy to talk even though it is clear they are not really doing anything...actually that only happens sometimes.  Most of the time we just talk to the people and ask if they would like to have a message that would strengthen their family and help them come to Christ.  They usually say no in a nice way and we go one our way. This week we tried a different contacting approach called "crazy search for the people that were already prepared by the Lord".  Basically we took a photo around of someone being baptized and told people that God wanted them to be baptized in his true church so they could be cleansed by their sins and really follow Jesus Christ.  It sounds bold and crazy but I actually really loved it. We were just really honest with people, and if they were really prepared they would recognize the spirit and want to know more.  Did anyone accept?  No, but it is ok; maybe it wasn't the good moment.  The funniest contact of the week goes to a young girl.  She was probably my age and after explaining and testifying of the baptism she interrupted us and said " um hey actually can you guys talk to me another time because I am too hungry to talk because I am hungover"...not sure if we will go talk to her again or not.

Do not think that my week ended like it started, because I can truly testify that when we are almost at the end of your rope the Lord gives us Miracles.  One of our investigators Marciano had a lesson scheduled for 4 o clock on Saturday, and yes he came thankfully, but who else came with him, three new members of his family who were interested.  It was totally awesome.  We taught the lesson of Joseph Smith and we tried our best to really make it powerful.  The spirit was truly there and all accepted to read the book of Mormon.  On Sunday they also came to church for the first time just like that.  Usually we have to drag people to get them to church.  It was so crazy and I really hope they continue to choose to accept the gospel in their lives.  We will see this week.  Other miracles that happened are that we found maybe four new investigators because of contacting and taught one lesson with them each.  My favorite was a cute old couple  named Glorian and Allan who love to accept any missionaries of any religion.  The lesson was in Tahitian so that was a little scary but we simply told them there was a prophet today.  The Spirit was definately there also because they were willing to listen.

So my story for you is that even when it feels like you are about to die and you cant go anymore, you can, and I know good things will come.  The Lord will never try us more when we are able.  He knows our limits and our capacity.  He loves us.  I know that.

I am grateful for the gospel in my life and that it gives me the strength to continue.
Love you guys
Soeur Kimball

December 23, 2013

The week of Christmas is always really slow for missionary work, but it is ok because we still had lessons to teach and work to do.  This week we really have been focusing on the members because we feel like they don't get enough thanks for all that they do.  We don't have a family night planned so we are planning on making 12 batches of muddy buddies and giving them to all the leaders in our ward just to say thanks.  I hope it goes well.  

This week we fasted with our investigators to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet.  I said the prayer to open the fast with them and the spirit was so strong.  It was reconfirmed to me that I do know he restored the same gospel that Jesus Christ established on the earth. After the fast our amis felt like they still didn't receive an answer but they felt like they didn't receive a blatant no, so at least that is good. I know one day they will come to an understanding of the truthfulness.  It is just taking them a long time for them to recognize it. Besides that all of our investigators are doing pretty well. This week we taught a lesson about the prophets with a family that I have never met before and it was on Tahitian.  We never use it and so the rare opportunities we do I am just terrified. I probably understood it better at the MTC then I do here. Anyway at the end of the lesson  I was able to explain to them how they can pray and receive an answer to know if what we were saying was true. Usually I stumble over all my words and no one understands me because of my American accent in Tahitian but it all just came out smoothly and they understood.  I know the gift of tongues is real because it is already a miracle I can speak almost fluently French.  Tahitian is kind of different story but I know as I continue to study and maybe serve in different areas of Tahiti with more people who speak Tahitian it will come, but that is besides the point.  I am just so grateful that the Lord really helped me in my time of need.  I know He lives.  
I forgot to mention but we had a tragedy happen last week in our mission.  I don't know if you heard but Sister Taylor and Sister Moli in our mission were hit by a car on their bicycles.  It was a drunk driver and they were returning home from a meal with the members.  I was with Sister Moli at the MTC so I know and love her a lot. Luckily she wasn't hurt really bad but Sister Taylor is in a coma right now.  We all really need to pray for her.  It has been a week that she has been in a coma and they have already had to operate.  They're waiting for her to awake and stabalize so she can fly to America for further treatment.  Our whole mission is heartbroken right now,  but luckily recentely she showed some good signs.  
Well I have to go, but have the best Christmas ever.  This week I received my first pearl necklace from one of our members and seriously people here are just too nice.   I know it was super expensive.  So don't worry about me.  I am well taken care of and I am prepared to eat more than I can take in for Christmas.  
Well remember that the Savior really lives and no one is disqualified to feel His love.  He is always there.  
Joyeux Noelle
Soeur Kimball

Sunday, January 5, 2014

December 16, 2013

Bonjour famille.  
Sounds like all is well.  Yes I received my Christmas package and I was just to happy. The Tahitians thought I was weird to be so excited over Christmas socks but whatever. I just loved it.  

This week we had so many miracles. Yesterday at the chapel we had 10 investigators come.  It was too good. Sure some of them fell asleep during the sacrament meeting but what can you do haha?  I was the most excited about a family that came we have been working with.  I can honestly say I love that family so much. They are a semi member family who take the lessons hoping to improve just little by little.  I am not sure how many times we have challenged the dad Alfonse to baptism.  He says no every time and pretty frankly, butt I know eventually he will be baptized. It just has to be his one idea and choice. Next week there family will come again to church and this time stay for sunday school also.  Awesome.  
This week we started to teach a beautiful girl named Kahia. She is my age and has an adorable little girl who is almost 1 years old I think.  She was visiting with a mormon family in our ward for vacation and wanted to talk to the missionaries, so of course we came and gave her a lesson.  She has simply been searching for the true church and the right path to take.  All she wants to do is really follow the Lord.  It was so remarkable.  We taught her about the importance of prayer to find truth in our lives and the message of the Restoration of the gospel of Christ and also the baptism; she really believes the church is true because she feels something different with its teachings.  It was so incredible.  She wants to be baptized one day.  At the end of the lesson she offered a prayer to know if this was the right path for her to take and it was probably the most beautiful prayer I have ever heard.  She said only two lines but it was the most sincere thing I have ever heard. It seriously made me reevaluate how sincere I am when I pray.  

Unfortunately Kahaia doesn't technically live in our sector so we had to hand her over to the other missionaries. I feel like whenever we find someone who actually wants to keep commitments and progress in the gospel they move out of our sector and we can't teach them.  Too bad but it doesn't matter as long as they are still coming unto Christ. 

This week also we had an activity for Relief society.  All the sisters were split into different groups to represent different countries.  We were in charge of the country of America and had to teach an American dance to our group to perform for the activity, so yes my companion and I taught them all "Cotton Eyed Joe," and we all dressed up like cowboys and danced.  It was kind of horrible but everyone loved it.  Tahitians love to dance and party.  I have never seen a relief society get so out of hand, holy cow. It was really fun and we had some inactive sisters come so it was a good turn out.  
Well today is our Tahitian Christmas party with all the missionaries so I have to go and party.  I am really excited to see all my amis from the mtc and how they are doing.  It has been three months almost that I haven't seen them.  I love you guys and I hope you guys remember Jesus Christ and His sacrifice especially this season.  He really did so much for us.  We can't even understand it fully.  It is that that makes it possible for us to even preach the gospel in the first place.  Because of His sacrifice we are able to return and able to improve and change our lives.  

Saturday, January 4, 2014

December 02, 2013

Bonjour tout le monde.

Fortunately we have passed Thanksgiving so Christmas music is allowed, and yes Tahitians listen to Christmas music.  It is funny because Tahitians listen to music in every single language.  I hear songs in French Tahitian and even Spanish sometimes.  I don't know if you guys know but Tahitians love, love, love to sing.  I have  never sang so much in my life.  We sing two times at every lesson and every single little activity is opened and closed with a hymn.  It is just how they do it, and if you are in charge of the hymn you have to sing a solo of the first few mesures before you start. I basically sing solos all the time.  Yesterday, for example, the relief society president asked me and Soeur Ference to come up to the front and sing before lesson.  I used to be horiffied to sing in front of people but I will never be again because I am just so used to it.

That leads me to the other news of the week.  Yesterday I totally killed a rat.  During evaluation a rat ran behind the refrigerator and after blockading everything we trapped it in between two boxes.  No one wanted to kill it but we couldnt risk getting diseases or anything so I had to.  I sprayed poison on it and it died.  Yah it was a little sad, but at least I dont have rabies.

Now to the important things I did this week.  Soeur Ference and I are really trying to bring unity and love into our neighborhood and sector because it is just not there.  Until now we are sick of people not letting us serve them. It is nearly impossible to find service opportunities. Everytime we ask if people want help theyre like"no no no" so we thought of a clever way we are going to trick people into making them let us serve them. We are going to choose inactive families and show up in the morning and pretend like the ward scheduled for us to come and it is something required to let us do their yard work. Hopefully this goes well haha.  Besides that, one of our investigators dropped us because her husband doesn't want her to be Mormon.  It is really hard to work with mean husbands here.  There are a lot.  We also fixed a baptism for January 4th with Megui this week.  I was so happy.  She has a lot to change but I am confident if she continues to have the desire she will be ready by then.  She is one of my favorites to teach because she is so open, which leads me to my little spiritual thought for the week.  Be humble.

I have learned here that it is only ever the humble who will be able to recieve the blessings of the gospel.  It is sad but I have seen so much pride block people from recieivng the gospel.   One of my favorite talks from conference was " Be Meek and Humble of Heart" by Elder Soares.  I suggest you go back and read or listen to it.  How many times in life do we block the reception of gospel blessings or further inspiration because of our pride.  Remember that humility and meekness is never a weekness but a spiritual strength. Meekness is vital for us to become more Christlike. Without it we won’t be able to develop other important virtues. Being meek does not mean weakness, but it does mean behaving with goodness and kindness, showing strength, serenity, healthy self-worth, and self-control.
Meekness was one of the most abundant attributes in the Savior’s life. He Himself taught His disciples, “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.”

Before my mission I prayed really hard to be able to go somewhere where I would be humbled, and the Lord answered my prayer.  I can honestly say I have been given so much in my life and I have never realized how much that was until now.  Yes it sometimes hurts to be humbled but it has also been one of the largest blessings I have recieved as I have therefore had to rely on the Lord for strength, and that is always a good thing.
Love you all.
Soeur Kimball

Mahina, Tahiti November 25, 2013

So bad news.  No one celebrates Thanksgiving here.  Good news is that the three americans in our house are going to have a crepe night, so I guess all is at peace.  I actually eat a good number of crepes here.  Super delicious.  Also it is mango season and papaya season.  Super good news. I eat papaya almost every day.  I basically just eat a lot a lot here.  Luckily I have a companion who loves to run so we run each morning.  The members here love to see us get fat.  Actually, I think they want me to get could say it is their goal for me. They tell me it is better that way. Two nights ago was the first time I weighed myself since coming here and somehow I managed to lose weight. I guess riding bikes uphill all day long in 100 percent moisture pays off.  

Besides that everything is going well.  We do a lot of contacting here.  Everyone is super friendly so it is pretty easy.  It is actually super awkward.  All the time I just walk up to people walking on the road and ask them if they know Frederick Tupu.  Am I actually searching for Frederick Tupu? No not really, but people are way more receptive to talk if you are searching for someone. We also challenged 2 people to baptism this week.  They both want to baptized but they both have a lot to do get married. We are prepared to do anything we can for them. They are both so ready and willing to follow Jesus Christ.  I know it will be hard for them, but I can imagine their lives with the gospel and it makes me want to do anything to help them.  No matter who you are your life could be made so much better with the gospel. 
I love you guys and I hope you all are grateful for the gospel this week.  I sure am.  I didn't take advantage enough before my mission of the blessings of the gospel.  It is truly the small things prayer and the scriptures that really fill our lives with peace.  

Passe un bon semaine a vous tous. 
Soeur Kimball